Teaching Children To Be Good Little Socialistsby Doug Mataconis
Maureen Martin writes at TCS Daily about a school exercise that sounds like it came right out of The Communist Manifesto:
Some Seattle school children are being told to be skeptical of private property rights. This lesson is being taught by banning Legos.
A ban was initiated at the Hilltop Children’s Center in Seattle. According to an article in the winter 2006-07 issue of “Rethinking Schools” magazine, the teachers at the private school wanted their students to learn that private property ownership is evil.
According to the article, the students had been building an elaborate “Legotown,” but it was accidentally demolished. The teachers decided its destruction was an opportunity to explore “the inequities of private ownership.” According to the teachers, “Our intention was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation.”
At the end of that time, Legos returned to the classroom after the children agreed to several guiding principles framed by the teachers, including that “All structures are public structures” and “All structures will be standard sizes.” The teachers quote the children:
“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.”
Sounds like a meeting of the Democratic National Committee.
Of course, not every child reacted well to having their Lego’s taken away:
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.
No confirmation on whether this budding capitalist was named John Galt.