Moral Low Ground


Banned Words on NYC Public School Exams Include ‘Dinosaur’, ‘Birthday’, ‘Halloween’ & ‘Dancing’

March 27, 2012 by Brett Wilkins in Education, Religion with 3 Comments

A double no-no

In what many are calling a case of political correctness run amok, New York City public school officials have banned a bevy of words and references to purportedly sensitive subjects.

The New York Post reports that words or topics that “could evoke unpleasant emotions in students” have been blacklisted on English, math, science and social studies tests given to students several times a year.

Among the banned words are dinosaur, birthday, Halloween and dancing. Dinosaurs evoke evolution, which could upset Christian fundamentalists. Birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Halloween, a pagan celebration, could also upset fundamentalists, as could dancing, which is taboo in some sects.

Words that reference wealth or poverty are also verboten because they could make students feel jealous or inferior. That means homes with swimming pools or computers or references to homelessness are off-limits. So are diseases and divorces, which could also prove upsetting for students.

Other banned words or topic include: extraterrestrial aliens, junk food, video games, terrorism, slavery and witches.

NYC school officials claim these types of exclusions are normal and don’t amount to censorship.

“This is standard language that has been used by test publishers for many years and allows our students to complete practice exams without distraction,” a Department of Education spokeswoman told the Post.

But this sort of behavior is sure to provoke a furious response from many Americans, especially of the conservative variety, who view this as evidence of an out-of-control political correctness that has gripped US society in recent decades.

This time, they’ve got a damn good point.

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  1. joonéMarch 28, 2012 at 7:06 amReply

    This is a joke, right?

    • Brett WilkinsMarch 28, 2012 at 7:46 amReplyAuthor

      I’m afraid not.

  2. Danny HaszardApril 1, 2012 at 1:15 pmReply

    Jehovah’s Witnesses reject Birthdays all holidays,Thanksgiving even benign Mother’s day.
    The Watchtower leaders want to be ‘different’ for the sake of being different.Jehovah’s Witnesses are a dysfunctional group from the get-go .
    Christmas-Jesus was not born on exactly Dec 25th,but he also did not have his *invisible* second coming in the month of October 1914,a falsehood that is the core doctrine of the Watchtower religion.

    *tell the truth don’t be afraid*–Danny Haszard

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