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.
Pointer: Jonathan Turley
Facts: Bainbridge Review