L’Eggo My Lego

L’Eggo My Lego in TCS Daily reports on the Lego ban at Hilltop Children’s Center in Seattle: Teachers at the private school wanted children — most from upper-middle-class white families — to learn about “the inequities of private ownership.”

In the winter 2006-07 issue of “Rethinking Schools” magazine, the teachers explain that students in the after-school program had been building an elaborate “Legotown,” with some students taking the lead, negotiating with other builders about who would get to use the most desireable building blocks. Legotown builders were incorporating “their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys,” the teachers write. These assumptions “mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive.” When Legotown was destroyed accidentally, the teachers decided “to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation.”

Maureen Martin writes on TCS:

They claimed as their role shaping the children’s “social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity … from a perspective of social justice.”

So they first explored with the children the issue of ownership. Not all of the students shared the teachers’ anathema to private property ownership. “If I buy it, I own it,” one child is quoted saying. The teachers then explored with the students concepts of fairness, equity, power, and other issues over a period of several months.

Children were allowed to build with Legos only when they agreed to certain principles, such as “All structures are public structures.”

“A house is good because it is a community house.”

“We should have equal houses. They should be standard sizes.”

“It’s important to have the same amount of power as other people over your building.”

One wonders about the parents paying private school tuition at Hillcrest. Do they live in communal homes of equal size? Do they own their homes?

Via BizzyBlog, who provided the link to the article.

Return of the Conservative has more on co-author Ann Pelo, who’s written a book on teaching young children to be activists.

About Joanne


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    I wonder if the teachers would be willing to tell us how many squatters and homeless they are housing in their own (horrors!) homes. For free. Seeing as they live in public buildings.

  2. Can you say “entitlement?” My thoughts on this insanity here.

  3. I’m speechless at how stupid this is, and how many self-contradictions are going unchecked here. A private school which stands or falls on the dynamics of the free market, trying to indoctrinate children about the evils of private property. You can’t make this stuff up.

    What’s really funny is when you put this up against their educational philosophy; I write about that here:


  4. mike from oregon says:

    Karl Marx would be proud of these pinheads – Groucho Marx would laugh at them … as we all should.

    The mere fact that they have a job due to capitalism is an irony unto itself.

  5. Catch Thirty Thr33 says:

    Nothing prepares your children for the future like teaching them that stealing from the successful producers in society makes all the difference!

  6. Just when you think you have heard every goofy liberal piece of nonsense in the world, another one creeps up. While I do appreciate teaching children the art of sharing, at no time have I ever condoned in my own children or other childen the idea of theft and entitlement. I suppose they are getting ready for China to take the lead. Then we can all share in a much lower standard of living.

  7. I assume that all those teachers live in the real world collective Public Project buildings?

  8. Walter E. Wallis says:

    If I had two coats I would give you one.
    If I had two pairs of shoes I would give you a pair.
    “What about shirts?”
    No, I HAVE two shirts.

  9. To see how Ann Pelo runs Hilltop Children’s center and does “research”, see


  10. SuperSub says:

    From bd’s link:
    “Three-year-old Claudia emphatically refused the role of princess in a game with three other girls. “I hate princesses, and that’s why I’m a boy!” she exclaimed fiercely.”

    -Ah, one more individual added to the transgender population due to someone’s manipulation

    “‘As a woman, I hate seeing a girl being so passive,’ said Kirstin, startling me with the force behind her words.”

    -someone has an ax to grind it seems

    Hopefully these children will be able to establish their own identities once they reach kindergarten and shrug off the roles given to them in the name of “research” by these idiots.

  11. GradSchoolMom says:

    Are they still teaching anything about real communism and socialism in US schools? It seems like Americans are becoming infatuated with these concepts. History has demonstrated that reality doesn’t quite look like Utopia once they are implemented. Even while I admired the great Soviet athletes in the Olympics, I was aware that they had no choice in their lives and had no option to fail – things I would have never traded for their gold medals.

  12. It gets worse. I’ve written about these Rethinking Schools people before.

  13. Well, the only bright thing about this particular piece of idiocy is that this is a private school…not a public one where our tax dollars are being used to promote someone’s ideology.

    While I feel sorry for the kids being brainwashed, at least it’s done with the consent of their parents…not the case where parents who do not have the financial resources to move their kids have to put up with whatever the local educrats dispense.

    I think I would be willing to accept schools that want to teach these ridiculous ideologies as part of a system that gave truly free choice to all. What is most unfortunate is that there is little choice for the majority of us, and that there are all too many public schools just as far off the reservation as these kooks.

  14. Indigo Warrior says:

    The good thing is that the private nature of this school segregates such idiocy from the public system. I have heard stories about thing like this going on in public school, where jackbooted commissars of teachers force the young kids to “share everything”, even if it means some of them cannot finish their work.

    If sharing is good, then how about poor old Mr. Kroft the chemistry teacher being able to help himself to the palatial educrats’ offices at the new School Board Building, or to the football coach’s new Cadillac so he can get to the school faster and spend more time with his students?

  15. Independent George says:

    I just can’t get all that worked up about this. While I disagree with the lesson, it was a private school, and they have the right to teach as they see fit, and the parents have the right to send their children to that school, or not, as they see fit.

    Would I want to send my (hypothetical) kids there? Heck no. But presumably, the parents don’t have any such objections, and they can do as they wish.

    That’s the benefit of school choice – the fact that I disagree with the curriculum doesn’t mean they have to rearrange everything to suit my personal preferences.

  16. BUt the best part is that it’s in Seattle, home of probably the most rapacious capitalist since the Robber Barons. Microsoft is as ruthless a competitor as any in the world. I’ll bet plenty of these kids have parents who work on the campus.

  17. The school is private. However, according to their website, for some children Hilltop is eligible to receive DSHS child care subsidies (from the state), and City of Seattle Comprehensive Child Care Program. So public money is involved. Also Hilltop is a non-profit organization, they get donations that are tax-deductible.

  18. Do you suppose Ann Pelo actually asked any of the parents if she could conduct her “research” on their kids? I did not see any mention of “informed consent” in the article.

  19. This school is a great example of why liberals should support school vouchers. This is certainly not my cup of tea as a school, but let the parents would relate to the teaching philosopy of the school be able to choose a place like this, just as parents who want their children to avoid the chaos and lack of educational progress in inner city public schools would like access to the discipline and high expectations of Catholic schools in their neighborhood.

    Of course, this school’s demographics could care less aobut vouchers. Given that the monthly tuition is $1135-1185 per month, one wonders how the wealthy parents who send their children there reconcile its anti-capitalist philosophy with their own wealth.

  20. Such a crazy article. I mean teachers using the kids for an agenda like socialism and brainwashing them to think like they do is shameful. Did the parents know about this? Here’s what I think on the topic:


  21. A capitalist based private school teaching children the failed belief system of Communism. What hypocrisy. Even if this is a private school, do they have the right to teach a failed social and economical philosophy? A philosophy not based in liberty and freedom but conformity and control by the state. I have witnessed first hand co-workers who were indoctrinate with the ideas of socialism from far left colleges. They believed that if they were good citizens the state should buy them a house, a car, pay for their health care and anything they think deserved. How will these children fair in the competitive capitalist world that at such an early age were the are taught not to be an individual, not to think for them, to adapt groupthink and succumb to the mediocre philosophy of Socialism and Communism. Why it is that teachers of this school are blind to the failures of Communism and Socialism? Stupidity.

  22. Wasn’t it Marx who said “Give me your children and I will give you the world”?

  23. Joe Phillips says:

    This is brainwashing. our enemies (terrorists) brainwash there young into hating Americans so the next generation will carry on there beliefs. Progressives are brainwashing our children so the next generation will light, and carry there torch of socialism and entitlement. If this happens, freedom and liberty will begin to disappear bit by bit until one day people will have trouble remembering what it was. We must not let this happen.



    The Case of the Redistributed Legos has drawn commentary elsewhere….

  2. […] to more communistic ends. This goes back to an earlier post, a TCS article, Betsy’s Page, Joanne Jacobs (one of the first two or three bloggers I ever read), and Bizzy Blog, which has the original case […]

  3. […] doesn’t mean they know anything about teaching — particularly if their idea of education is turning students into little goose-stepping Maoists. If you’re smart, you figured out in ed school that 95% of what you read and were told was horse […]