Jul. 2, 2015

    This Girl Taught Her Local Library A Lesson After They Blocked Her From A Robotics Class

    Girl power.

    Cash Cayen spends a lot of time at the local library in Timmins, Ontario. She was excited when she saw it was going to offer a session about robotics, and went to sign up. But the library said she wasn't allowed — it's for boys only.

    Here's the ad for the July 20 "Special boys program" in the library's summer program for kids.

    Cayen and her mother say they spoke to assistant library director Elaine De Bonis, and were told that boys' academic and literacy skills "don't improve over the summer break [and] therefore this program would only be offered to boys."

    tpl.timmins.ca

    "I explained that it was unfair that I was being denied this opportunity simply because I am a girl, but she insisted I could not register," Cayen said.

    So Cayen launched a petition to require the library to let her and other girls register for the session.

    change.org

    It attracted over 3,000 supporters, and Cayen was later invited to meet with the mayor, according to an update posted by her mother.

    Her cause received support from people such as Andrea Libman, who voices several My Little Pony characters.

    Shame on you Timmons Public Library! Girls and boys should be able to participate in all programming as equals! https://t.co/lEgP79nce7

    A female robotics engineer who works in New York posted a comment and told Cayen that she'd love to talk to her anytime about robots and robotics.

    People involved in the FIRST program that helps get young people interested in science, engineering, and technology also showed their support. "We need more girls in engineering!!!" said one woman who works as a FIRST mentor.

    This man said the "girls and boys of Timmins are better because you took a stand."

    Finally, as a result of Cayen taking action, the library issued a statement to apologize for the "misunderstanding" and to say that any children between the ages of 9 and 12 can register. Girls are now welcome in the robotics program.

    Timmins Public Library

    Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

    Contact Craig Silverman at craig.silverman@buzzfeed.com.

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