Message To An Unethical Teacher: Children Are Not Your Guinea Pigs

No LEGOS for YOU!

No LEGOS for YOU!

Fire this teacher now.

Karen Keller, a kindergarten teacher at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary on Bainbridge Island, Washington, think it is her role to use 5 year olds for her own social science experiment. She’s wrong. But then, she’s wrong about so much, and so arrogant about it. If she is allowed to continue her abusive manipulation of her young charges without being stopped, reprimanded, or given a pink slip, the negligent parents of her victims must carry the blame. Every now and then a teacher will go power mad and run amuck—I had one of those. There is no excuse for not acting quickly before someone gets hurt.

Keller has decided that it is her mission in life to combat what some studies show to be lower spatial and math skills development among girls as a group, as compared to boys. Thus she has decided to forbid boys from playing with LEGOS during the “unstructured play period” of 40 minutes that the kindergarten day includes. Keller told a local paper that it drove her crazy  that the girls wanted to play with dolls while boys flocked to the plastic building system, so she decided to take action to erase those gender-based proclivities. “Until girls get it into their system that building is cool, building is ‘what I want to do’ — I want to protect that.”

Want to fire her yet?

How about this statement…

“I always tell the boys, ‘You’re going to have a turn’ — and I’m like, ‘Yeah, when hell freezes over’ in my head,” she said. “I tell them, ‘You’ll have a turn’ because I don’t want them to feel bad.”

Now do you want to fire her?

Keller even got a school grant to assist her gender equality scheme.  When the Bainbridge Schools Foundation invited applications for Classroom Enrichment Grants, Keller asked for funding to purchase LEGO Education Community Starter Kits for three Blakely classrooms. She wrote that “concrete steps can be taken to ameliorate the gender gap in the kindergarten and present engaging ways to develop girls’ spatial skills.”

She did not write that she would only allow girls to play with the with the new 1,907-piece sets, presumably because she wouldn’t have received the grant.

So let’s see…

…she discriminates against the boys,

…forces girls to play with Legos whether they want to or not,

structures play during the unstructured play period (because she’s read some “studies,” and is therefor an expert in child development)

…lies to her students (well, just the icky boys, apparently) and

…violated the implicit terms of her grant, which she obtained by fraud.

Oh, yes, there is also this quote: “Fair is getting what you need to succeed or to get better.”

This mad teacher experiments on children with a cruel but versatile theory that could be applied to all sorts of gender inequality areas. For example, the gap between the sexes in athletic achievement could be erased by withholding protein, exercise and sports activities from boys, who would be forced to only engage in sedentary diversions and punished for any overly athletic displays. Meanwhile, girls would be placed on high nutrition diets, forced to engage in rigorous weight training, boxing, martial arts and gymnastics, and given safe but effective hormone supplements. That should do it.

The school administrators are apparently aware of Keller’s discrimination and abuse of power, and so are parents. Why is she still teaching? When I read stories like this, I get a chill thinking about how I would have reacted if I learned that my son, who loves building, constructing and assembling above all else (and developed his career ambitions in part because of LEGOS), was being forced to play with crayons and dolls by a tyrannical know-it-all  like Keller, while girls alone were authorized to use the toys he loved.

She’s a monster.

Fire her.

_____________________

Pointer: Jonathan Turley

Facts: Bainbridge Review

37 thoughts on “Message To An Unethical Teacher: Children Are Not Your Guinea Pigs

    • Ooh, a Catch-22! That raises an interesting question. How many girls get in trouble due to weapon-related hysteria on the part of a teacher, compared to boys? Granted, I’m reasonably certain that girls are statistically less likely to snap and shoot random strangers, but the question bears asking. I do distinctly remember reading about a girl who got in trouble for taking a blade (I think) away from another student and either bringing it to a teacher or throwing it away, so that probably counts.

      • Yes, there was a girl who took a razor blade away from a student who was cutting him or herself. The girl then threw away the blade, notified a teacher about the cutting, and was promptly suspended for possessing a weapon. Nauseating all around.

  1. The question everyone should be asking the teacher is this:

    So let’s say we’ve established that some cognitive abilities have a bimodal distribution amongst the human population; instead of a normal distribution the graph has two peaks, with a trough in between. Suppose further, that these cognitive differences are correlated with outward phenotypical differences such that it is possible to predict with a decent probability of accuracy the cognitive profile of a person based on their physical appearance. These differences may very well have originated from a prehistoric hunter-gatherer dichotomy in which one group was the hunters (with emphasis on coordination and physical prowess) and the other was the gatherers (with emphasis on quality evaluation and organization).

    …So what? Why should we do anything? How does this “is” translate into an “ought?” What bad things will happen if we don’t do anything about it?

    As long as we give people the opportunity to prove our guesses about them wrong, consider people’s opinions based on their demonstrated expertise, and take into account their concerns whenever they are stakeholders in our decisions… That is, as long as we behave like mature adults, and not like morons, then we don’t need to try and scramble up people’s abilities such that we can’t guess them by appearances, because it won’t make anything better. If anything, it’d make things worse, by burning people out or artificially limiting them.

    I want every twentieth person in the world to be able to formulate incisive questions just like this at a moment’s notice, and I want the other nineteen to take them very seriously. This question isn’t even that impressive; the “is/ought” problem is a classic that everyone should study in elementary school.

  2. Preventing boys from playing with Legos will improve girls’ visio-spatial relationship perception in the same way that banning same-sex marriage protects religious marriage.

    Same logic.

    Fire her – but tell her her paychecks will still keep coming, as I don’t want her to feel bad.

    • OK, I lied, I *do* want her to feel bad. I just don’t think I should want that, as I don’t think she’d learn from it, it would do no good.

      • Of course she wouldn’t learn from being made to feel bad. That’s backwards. By making her learn, she would end up feeling bad for having done bad things. It’s the fear of that bad feeling that causes people like her to subconsciously resist learning.

        By making her feel good about learning, we can slightly offset the inevitable bad feeling and make learning a more attractive path than it currently is for her.

  3. As to why the left is so resolute in exposing the US to possible danger (and why the left seems to be intent upon destroying American higher education), I’ve come to a very large scale conclusion, or at least hypothesis: Notwithstanding its purported Hegelian roots, I don’t think the left sees history as the resolution of opposing forces into a new reality that’s better. I think what’s really going on is more analogous to organic growth and death. I think maybe all societies are best viewed as organisms that contain the seeds of their own destruction. If they didn’t, they’d live forever. So, while the left thinks disruption and destruction of the status quo is “progress” toward a better society, it’s actually society destroying itself, as do all organisms. Hegelian conflict and resolution has some rational basis. What’s going on in the left these days does not.

    So, if and when something the left asserts, or any position it takes, seems inexplicable and destructive, that’s true, you’re absolutely right. It is irrational and potentially fatal to society, as it’s supposed to be.

    I suspect these are the kind of concerns people like Thomas Mann were trying to warn people about German culture’s approaching descent into madness and death in the 1930s.

  4. Everything is awful
    Everything is crap when you’re teacher’s PC
    Everything is awful
    She should have played with more dolls or something.

  5. I don’t see why she wouldn’t get the grant if she stated that only the girls would get to play with them. President Obama would probably invite her to the White House.

    Education has been focused on helping female students succeed relative to male students for decades. It hasn’t necessarily been focused on helping them learn more, just make sure they are better than the boys. How many programs have you heard of whose purpose is to help female students do well in school? How about ones targeting male students? It makes it seem like we have an education system that gives preferences to male students at the expense of female ones and we need special programs to help the girls.

    Now let’s look at the reality. In 1970, the US had a distribution of male and female students that more evenly matched the population than we do today. Women are 49% of the college aged population and were 43% of the college population in 1970. Today, the college population is ~59% female while the general population of that age is still 49%. Gender parity in colleges was reached in 1976, but the pro-female (or anti-male) movement in education didn’t stop then. It kept going. The current goal seems to be no male students allowed in college (the new Title IX ruling should help that). If this were any other group, there would be protesters decrying the obvious discrimination indicated by these figures. As the gap has grown larger every year since 1976, this shows a continual, worsening trend. Despite this, the President just this week announced he was allocating more money to getting a larger percentage of women in college. This is like stating that we need a government program to increase then number of asian-american students in college (13% of college population, 5.6% of US population). Why did no one challenge him?

    OK, I can hear the people who say “but women are underrepresented in science and math”. I have taught college science courses for almost 20 years. The number of courses I have taught that were majority male can be counted on 1 hand. This is at state schools and private schools. Even when I was at an engineering school, the population was still majority female. My current department is 50% female as is my science college. The only place you don’t have gender equity for women is in the R1, large research schools. The demanding and age-sensitive nature of tenure in these positions makes them unattractive to women, so what do you want to do? Draft women into them?

    The most gender biased part of education is public education. Most of my freshmen have never had a class led by a man before. Fourteen years of education without a single male teacher. The figures state that only 76% of public schoolteachers are female, but the K-8 and K-6 schools my son have been in don’t have a single male employee (not just faculty, no male janitor, bus driver, etc). How many companies could get away with doing THAT with male employees? Is it any wonder that 70% of the elementary school children are diagnosed with ADHD are male? Is ADHD really just normal male behavior as viewed by an all female profession?

    • “It hasn’t necessarily been focused on helping them learn more, just make sure they are better than the boys. How many programs have you heard of whose purpose is to help female students do well in school?”

      Does anyone else remember a time where around the fourth grade, all the boys were rustled into the gym to play dodgeball, and all the girls were shown a presentation by a local university aimed at coaxing girls into science? Maybe it was only a Canadian thing, but I remember being really disappointed because the presentation sounded neat.

      “The demanding and age-sensitive nature of tenure in these positions makes them unattractive to women, so what do you want to do? Draft women into them?”

      Of course. But only for other women, not the ones that are pushing the programs. Feminists will do everything short of actually putting their money where their mouth is to change the wage gap. The outrage they display when you suggest to them that they’re part of the problem by taking gender studies as a major as opposed to engineering is priceless.

      Come to think about it, this is a common problem in left leaning think.

      ‘Something should happen about the wage gap.’
      ‘Well, do it then.’
      ‘No no, you misunderstand, shitlord, you need to stop doing it, and someone with a vagina who ISN’T me has to start doing it.’

      ‘We should admit refugees.’
      ‘Wanna offer them a room in your home?’
      ‘No no, you misunderstand, racist, we need to admit refugees, but to a mystical, far far away area near someone ELSE’s backyard.’

      “Is ADHD really just normal male behavior as viewed by an all female profession?”

      In a word: Yes. It’s so much more complicated than that, but that’s not a bad place to start.

    • Research grants generally have ethics review panels. At minimum, this ‘experiment’ would have required informed consent from the parents, if not trashed altogether.

      • But who is on the ethics review panels? If it is an educational study, you could only have people like this woman on it. They would greenlight it in a second. No parental consent would be required because there is no expected ‘harm’ to any of the students. The girls will just learn more and that is the correct goal of all education.

  6. I feel like I’ve been yelling from the rooftops about situations like this for years, and they’re finally attracting notice. Although notably not mainstream notice. But that’s not surprising, we might have to start thinking of men and boys as being able to be victims. Go figure.

    Should she be fired? Of course. Will she be fired? Of course not. And that’s because she operates in a culture that actively promotes conduct like this. It’s the same culture that has a plurality of boys on mind altering drugs like Ritalin and enforces no tolerance policies that are aimed at traditionally male behaviors. It exists in the same paradigm as the wage gap. Feminists discovered an ‘issue’: When you take the entire full time earnings of men, divided by the entire population of full time working men, and you compare them to the entire full time earnings of women, divided by the number of full time working women, there is a difference. It’s called The Wage Gap. But when you look a little closer: The reason for the difference is largely because men choose to work in higher earning occupations, work more overtime, take less leave and in general produce more. And so the canard of “Equal Pay for Equal Work” is dishonest and really only put forward by people either ignorant of the math, or actively promoting an agenda. Very rarely is any group actually paid less for the same work. But the disparity in outcomes is real, and so these feminists are trying to ‘fix’ it. Now what is that fix? I don’t think the barriers for entry for women into high paying jobs or working overtime are any higher than they are for men…. In fact with the desperation companies are showing to hire women to get their quotas up, I’d argue it might be lower, so the problem amounts to choice. And at the point we recognize that, we have a choice; One: We force women against their will out of their gender studies courses, into actual productive majors, and cage them in an office to work mandatory overtime, Two: we remove the opportunity for men to succeed. Or three: We get ’em young and make them think it was their choice.

    To bring that home to the situation at hand: Girls will tend to play with more social toys, like dolls, or that spinny thing that says “The Cow goes moo.”, and boys tend to Gravitate to mechanical, mathematical and spatial things like building blocks and Legos. This is apparently “problematic” (Which is the next word I’m going to mock, following entries like “Safe Spaces” “Microagressions” (TYSRL) and “Cis”) because to their way of thinking, this is where socialization starts the trend of self selected sex segregation. There are amazing statistics coming out of Sex Segregated Schools, where for whatever reason, in the absence of men, women are more likely to choose more historically masculine tasks. Perhaps this is nature finding a way to cope with artificial situations… It tracks with studies that show that gay couples that adopt tend to display a phenomenon where the presence of a child over the long term will actually effect the brain chemistry of at least on of the men to trend along more feminine markers. It’s interesting stuff. And let’s not forget Jurassic Park, where the female dinosaurs spontaneously switched genders so that they could boink. Hear that Jenner? You weren’t the first famous transsexual on the big screen!

    The problem is that these situations are artificial. Children as young as two months were observed, and while girls would choose to focus on things like faces, boys would choose to focus on things with moving parts.There is an element of biological determinism in play here, and so what? Really? What problem are we actually addressing? Why is parity the goal? Why is it so hard to accept that generally women have an easier time learning a second language, and men have an easier time doing calculus? Why can’t we play to our strengths? What questions are these experiments an answer to?

    • Just remember two things – first, it’s statistical, individuals differ. And second, it’s real, factual, and no amount of ideological nonsense will change it.

      A lot of idiots on the far Right have problems with the first, a lot of idiots on the far Left have problems with the second.

      • What’s also true is that boys and girls are different by nature, Zoe. Feminists are philosophically at odds with this facet of humanity, something that every healthy society has recognized due to its manifest truth. One symptom of decadency is the forceful denial and suppression of all truths that run counter to the official theory.

        • The thing is, Zoe is probably more acutely aware than anyone else commenting here that there are differences between the genders, I can’t imagine that she was actually debating that. The way I read her comment (and I would love for her to clarify if she reads this) was that there are statistically people outside the gender binary, and conservative minded people have a hard time accepting that. And if that was what she meant: Congratulations! You’re the poster child for that line of thinking.

            • Well, if you want to define sex based on both genotype and phenotype, that’s… mostly fine. There will be some exceptional cases with intersex people, people with combinations of sex chromosomes other than “XX” and “XY”, and chimeras.

              Just so long as we don’t intend to spin a person’s sex classification into a prediction on how they will think, act, and live. If we want to do that, we need more information and, more importantly, a lot more room for exceptions. It’d be far less complicated, ironically, to refrain from bundling a bunch of traits into a single dichotomy. Oversimplifying things into a pixelated model can get messier than leaving them as literal observations. The price of semantic expediency is the inability to deal with exceptions. And I would strongly advise against attempting to spin a person’s sex classification into a normative judgment on how they should think, act, and live. If you try to fit everyone into one of two boxes, all but a very few people will be bent out of shape.

              On a related note, I just started reading the book The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and it is excellent. It may have some concepts you’re already familiar with, if you’ve studied rationality, but it nevertheless opens up new perspectives full of possibility, and ties together concepts elegantly.

              • Normal human behavior is contained within fairly wide parameters, Poddy. I never said different and, frankly, I’m glad of it. I’m also glad of Le Difference between male and female; physical and psychological. It keeps life interesting! But norms do exist. On no logical or moral basis can perversion be considered normal, as it attempts to defy not only physical reality, but the very foundations of what defines the male/female outlook.

                But haven’t we been over all this before?

                • We’re adding psychological differences between men and women as well? I suppose that’s okay, so long as it’s an incidental observation, and not a part of the definition. As long as we can handle exceptions, we’re good.

                  “Norms do exist”? Like what, for example? For what purpose? All the norms I have tie back to a single affirmation of consciousness. Where do yours come from?

                    • I find stuff falls into place just fine without me ever having to consult biology (or try to ascribe an “imperative” to it) to figure out what people are “supposed” to do. That is, other than continuing to eat and breathe (and other science facts…)

                      Deriving a code of behavior based on the circumstances of a person’s birth is okay (we all have to start somewhere), but treating it as absolute truth is flat-out Untermensch.

                    • To understand the motivations of any sex or species, you have to understand what their natural priorities are. This becomes instinctual unless overridden by a new situation or trauma while young. This is the case with humans, too.

                  • To understand one aspect of the motivations of anyone, yes, evolutionary psychology does play an important role. However, some people sacrifice themselves for people who are not related to them. Some die on behalf of animals. Some die for ideas, abstract concepts, like honor. Often, they do it without having offspring. I think it’s safe to say biological imperative is not the lone dictator of a person’s actions.

                    Also, where does art, music, and literature fall into biological determinism? Why do we value them? I’m skeptical that it’s merely a matter of instinct or trauma. Can you explain it in the context of those options you presented?

                    Finally, since when is objective ethics derived from the instincts of the majority? Just because one person’s instincts deviate from the average, it doesn’t make them wrong. Why are we trying to translate an “is” (the average person instinctively feels feeling X towards stimulus Y) into an “ought” (anyone who doesn’t feel feeling X towards stimulus Y is must be corrected or shunned)?

                    • I think we’re coming back to the age-long argument about what predominates in human behavior; genetic traits or social conditioning. I think that experience shows the basis of behavior to be inherent. However, this can be overridden by trauma or deliberate indoctrination. The younger the person, the easier the “reprogramming”… especially when its prior to the age of seven. This is what makes such things as perversion and child soldiers possible. It works in later life only by harsh measures. That’s brainwashing, of course. Communist style or- now- American campus style!

                    • Leaving aside the question of whether or not you’re right about inherent behavior, we still haven’t established a framework for deciding what behaviors or modifications thereof are good or bad. Just because some things are more likely to happen if people are left alone doesn’t make them good.

                    • I’d say that a healthy culture is one whose customs and traditions establish norms that channel natural human inclinations into productive, non-conflictive patterns. Marriage, family and property rights are key in this equation.

  7. There needs to be a laser focus on boys education, but the only concern that’s ever shown by equality experts is on the alleged plight of girls in a system that they say is structurally sexist and doesn’t do enough to build their confidence.

    The plain truth through is that boys are the group who are disadvantaged. They go through an increasingly feminised school system where it’s unlikely they will encounter a single male teacher or adult in any capacity until they reach secondary school, and even then the number of male teachers could be counted on one hand. Around 40% of children come from homes without their biological dad or from father-absent homes which is especially detrimental to boys.

    But the problem is more-or-less ignored. This is what The Secretary of State for Education had to say in 2015 to an education leadership conference:

    “The vast majority of our teachers – 75% – are female. That rises to nearly 90% in primary schools. But only 66% of our headteachers are female – meaning there’s a much lower progression rate for women than for men.”

    If you read this statement long enough you start to see the back of your own head: *ONLY* 66% of headteachers are women. The conversation around equality is relentlessly single-minded, even in areas where women are over-represented, and this is why we have a problem.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/nicky-morgan-empowering-women-in-education-leadership-conference

  8. In another life (before retirement) I was a teacher. I also spent many years with my own self-contained classroom for kids with behavior issues. For three-years I provided behavioral support for classroom teachers in a middle school. This was strategies to use, defusing situations, modifying curriculum, but the primary function was behavioral intervention.

    Boys were held to a different standard. Face it – male behaviors are different as any female can attest. In middle-school that is certainly magnified, but it was rare when I had to defuse a situation in a classroom with a male teacher. Most often they would handle the situation (don’t ask). If it was up to the female staff (usually under age 30) 2/3rds of the boys would be on meds. But there was a break point. Female teachers with male children were perfect. Just handle them like their own boys.

    What really is an issue is that when kids reach middle school they have come from an almost exclusively female environment in elementary school.

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