Kindergarten teacher bans popular toy among male students only

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In Karen Keller's kindergarten classroom, boys aren't allowed to play with Legos. And not because of the unique pain that comes with stepping on one of the colorful bricks.

Keller told the Bainbridge Island Review that she started doing this because boys were flocking to the colorful blocks during their "free choice" playtime, while girls tended to play with dolls or crayons.

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The Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary teacher hopes by blocking use of the toys for boys that female students may be encouraged to play with them.

She even admitted to telling an occasional lie to appease her unhappy lego-loving male students.

Keller says that Lego play helps with development acceleration and math skills, while dolls offer little challenge or opportunity for growth.

She requested funds from the school to purchase Lego Education Community Starter Kits, but did not tell school officials that access to the toys would be denied for male students.

Despite online criticism, Keller firmly stands behind her idea, calling the practice "fair" because she's giving different students the tools they need to succeed.



"I had to do the 'girls only Lego club' to boost it more," Keller said. "Boys get ongoing practice and girls are shut out of those activities, which just kills me. Until girls get it into their system that building is cool, building is 'what I want to do' — I want to protect that."

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Related: See some of the most dangerous toys of 2015:
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Kindergarten teacher bans popular toy among male students only

This undated photo provided by the consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) shows a quick-folding trampoline, which made the group's annual list of hazardous toys, released Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Boston. The Massachusetts-based group said the trampoline can lead to injuries, particularly in children. WATCH said the toys singled out this year represent common problems and aren't the only potentially dangerous products on the market. (World Against Toys Causing Harm via AP)

This undated photo provided by the consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) showstoy dinosaur claws, which made the group's annual list of hazardous toys, released Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Boston. The Massachusetts-based group said the claws can cause eye and facial injuries. WATCH said the toyssingled out this year represent common problems and aren't the only potentially dangerous products on the market. (World Against Toys Causing Harm via AP)

Pull along dog

Small parts can break off and cause choking hazard.

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

Foam Dart Gun 

Too realistic looking. 

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

Doctor Play Set

Tongue depressor can cause choking hazard.

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

Kick Flipper Board

Shows children on packaging without safety equipment.

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sword 

Can cause injury.

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

Poo-Dough

Has wheat products which can cause allergic reaction.

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

Pull Along Zebra

Toy is too long for age group on packaging.

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

Smack Shot

Can cause injury.

(Photo: ToySafety.org)

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