One surprising remnant of '70s pop culture ephemera put an elementary school staff in a foul mood when a student used a restroom to change the color of his mood ring.
Problem is the student, a first-grader, didn't let nature — or his mood cycles — alter the color of his ring's stone. According to Flagler County Sheriff's deputies, the boy lit a paper towel dispenser on fire in an attempt to change the color of his mood ring.
Contrary to what sellers of these rings — introduced in 1975 by a pair of New York inventors — will tell you, mood rings rely more on temperature to alter their colors than the disposition of the wearer. So the first-grade student hastened the mood change with a little heat in the bathroom on Friday at Rymfire Elementary School.
Damage was mostly contained to the paper towel dispenser and walls of the restroom, but smoke from the fire triggered the sprinkler system, which caused flooding in the north end of the school and doused some classrooms around 12:30 p.m., according to deputies.
Some students returned to their classrooms Friday afternoon, but kindergarten and first-grade classrooms were moved to other rooms, News4Jax reported, as custodians and a crew with the Palm Coast Fire Department swept out puddles of water and tried to get classrooms cleaned and ready for the start of the school day on Monday.
The child, whose name and age were not released but who would presumably be about 6, was returned to his mother. He was issued a civil citation for criminal mischief with a recommendation that he be evaluated as a candidate for the fire starter program.
He could also be suspended for five days by Rymfire Elementary as the school weighs its options, deputies say.
Said Sheriff Rick Staly: "This underscores why it is so important to have a deputy in every school and fortunately next year every elementary school will have one. It also emphasizes the need for parents to be parents and teach their children right from wrong."
On the sheriff's department's Facebook post, people responded with a sense of humor and admonishments for the parents.
"Oh smack his hiney. Glad all worked out ok. A mood ring? First grader? Must change every 15 mins, lol. Awww. poor kid. livin' and learning.," read one.
"Parents need to be parents. Parents should be held accountable for their minor child's/children's actions," read another.
Mood rings contain a capsule filled with thermochromic liquid crystal that reacts to fluctuations in temperature and cause the crystal to reflect different wavelengths of light, altering the color of the stone. Theoretically, our moods affect our skin temperature and thus the stone tells us and observers how we are feeling.
Chances are school officials and first responders' mood rings, had they been wearing them, would have reflected either yellow, orange or green-peridot to suggest irritation, stress, worry and anxiety, according to mood ring color charts.
Next, you might be asking: "Mood rings are still a thing? Didn't they fade from favor soon after "Wildfire" fell off the pop charts?"
But, nope. Amazon, for one, still sells the novelty items. Just $4.73, marked down from $7.99 list, for an "Original Oval Mood Ring."