At Hilltop, however, the teachers strive to make them different. “We recognized that children are political beings, actively shaping their social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity,” write Pelo and Pelojoaquin. “We agreed that we want to take part in shaping the children’s understandings from a perspective of social justice. So we decided to take the Legos out of the classroom.”Fortunately, after educating the children on the positive good of "collective action" as opposed to the absolute negative of capitalistic self-reliance, the teachers were able to permit Legos in the class again. Subject, of course, to certain limitations:
The root cause of Hilltop’s Lego problem was that, well, the kids were being kids: There were disputes over “cool pieces,” instances of bigger kids bossing around little ones, and so on.
An ordinary person might recognize this as child’s play. But the social theorists at Hilltop saw something else: “The children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive.”
After “months of social justice exploration,” the teachers finally agreed it was time to return the Legos to the classroom. That’s because the children at last had bought into the concept that “collectivity is a good thing.” And in Hilltop’s new Lego regime, there would be three immutable laws:If you think this is a parody, it's not. It's for real. Of course, we all should know that banning Legos is a way to promote "social justice." "Social justice," of course, is making certain that creative and individualistic kids are not permitted to exhibit any creativity or individualism, because that perpetuates the evil inequities of capitalism. This same capitalism oppresses everyone by making them wealthy enough to go to college. Where they learn this crap.
--All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.
--Lego people can be saved only by a “team” of kids, not by individuals.
--All structures will be standard sizes.
You can almost feel the liberating spirit of that last rule. All structures will be standard sizes? At Hilltop Children’s Center, all imaginations will be a standard size as well: small.