The New York City Department of Education is waging a war on words of sorts, and is seeking to have words they deem upsetting removed from standardized tests.
The fear is that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests.
The word “dinosaur” made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like. Halloween is targeted because it suggests paganism; a “birthday” might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“They’re going to meet people from all walks of life and they’re going to have to learn to adjust.” One NYC parent stated.
Words that suggest wealth are excluded because they could make kids jealous. “Poverty” is also on the forbidden list. That’s something Sy Fliegal with the Center for Educational Innovation calls ridiculous. “The Petersons take a vacation for five days in their Mercedes … so what? You think our kids are going to be offended because they don’t have a Mercedes? You think our kids are going to say ‘I’m offended; how could they ask me a question about a Mercedes? I don’t have a Mercedes!’” “It’s all of life! I don’t know how they figure out what not to put on the list. Every aspect of life is on the list.” Fliegal said.
In a throwback to “Footloose,” the word “dancing” is also taboo. However, there is good news for kids that like “ballet”: The city made an exception for this form of dance.
Also banned are references to “divorce” and “disease,” because kids taking the tests may have relatives or parents who split from spouses or are ill.
Even some students think banning these words from periodic assessment tests is ridiculous.
“If you don’t celebrate one thing you might have a friend that does it. So I don’t see why people would find it offensive,” Curtis High School Sophomore Jamella Lewis told Diamond. Jamella has more common sense in her Sophomore mind than the NYC Board of Education – combined.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the DOE is simply giving guidance to the test developers.
“So we’re not an outlier in being politically correct. This is just making sure that test makers are sensitive in the development of their tests,” Walcott said Monday He also says, “New York City’s list is longer because its student body is so diverse.”
Let me get this straight. On one hand, the school system states that the list is so long because the NYC student body is so diverse, yet they want to do away with the very things that make the entire city -no, the entire country so diverse. Of course, now that makes so much more sense.
Now they’re not talking about just young children. These word bans would be at every level of standardized testing, including middle and high school.
Do they truly believe these kids live in a closet?
Wait until these overly sensitive kids grow up and out into the real world.. won’t they be in for a surprise. How about preparing kids for the real world, a world that does include swimming pools, meth heads, unemployment and birthdays?
What they’re effectively doing is raising a generation of emotionally crippled adults that won’t know how to cope with the harshness of reality – i.e. the real world.
Here is the complete list of words that are up for execution (whoops, can I say that?):
Abuse -physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological (So much for questions on health)
Alcohol -beer and liquor, tobacco, or drugs (I wonder if the word hooch is acceptable?)
Birthday celebrations and birthdays (Because no one was born on any particular day -ever. )
Bodily functions (Ahh.. the dreaded fart)
Cancer – and other diseases (Too scary. So much for health and science testing)
Catastrophes/disasters – tsunamis and hurricanes (It may give the kiddos that have never heard of them nightmares)
Celebrities (Ok, they got me there. I wouldn’t want to discuss most celebrities either. Now don’t get your feelings hurt, I did say MOST, not all.)
Children dealing with serious issues (Kids can only handle unicorns and rainbows)
Cigarettes – and other smoking paraphernalia (Because they may give you cancer and that’s another banned word)
Computers in the home – acceptable in a school or library setting (Little Suzie had to walk to the library to use the computer, because they don’t have one at home, just three Obama phones)
Crime (Never happens in NYC, so why even mention it?)
Death and disease (Might as well ban it. You can’t use cancer or crime)
Divorce (How dare the system make the kids with parents feel guilty about the kids with just a baby daddy?)
Evolution (We can’t let kids think there may be different points of view)
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes (There can’t be haves and have nots – just ask any liberal)
Gambling involving money (Hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas -right?)
Halloween (Damn those Pagan rituals.. or maybe someone will get their feelings hurt when the Great Pumpkin doesn’t come to visit?)
Homelessness (Those aren’t homeless people in NYC, they’re sidewalk warmers – is that more an acceptable term?)
Homes with swimming pools (See Above – the Have and the Have Nots)
Hunting ( I was sad when the hunter killed Bambi’s mom too, but I got over it)
Junk food ( I had 3 Oreos. Billy took 2. How many fingers did Billy have left after I chased him down and caught him? )
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge (What..Seriously? No mention of Obama Golf? Oh the humanity!)
Loss of employment (Interesting how welfare isn’t on the banned list)
Nuclear weapons ( Question 2: Who said, “We seek the total elimination one day of :: banned word:: from the face of the Earth.”
1. Ronald Reagan 2. Ahmadinejad 3. Kim Jong Un)
Occult topics -i.e. fortune-telling ( I guess the non-Gypsy kids wouldn’t get it)
Parapsychology ( I guess any mention of Ivy League Duke University’s Parapsychology Department is out of the question – literally)
Politics (and that’s where low information voters come from)
Pornography (On a school test? Who does that anyway?)
Poverty (Why give kids the silly idea that with an education and a good work ethic, they may be able to get themselves out of a lifetime of it? That would be just silly.)
Rap Music (Anyone remember The Sugar Hill Gang? I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you dont stop…)
Religion ( I don’t think I saw Atheism on the list. Imagine no religion… I wonder if you can.. )
Religious holidays and festivals -including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan (Is Festivus safe?)
Rock-and-Roll (So you ban the word Rock and Roll, but not Justin Beiber?)
Running away (I wonder how that would go on a test – Johnny ran away from CPS 10 times. The police brought him back 2 times. How many times did Johnny escape?)
Sex (Storks bring babies and I’m not seeing abortion on the list of banned words)
Slavery (Riddle me this Batman – On a standardized test, how do you test knowledge of world history without mentioning slavery?)
Terrorism (They’re not terrorist, they’re freedom fighters!)
Television and video games (How about – Television and video games, turn them off and go outside)
Traumatic material – including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters
(I always found leftist particularly upsetting, yet they still exist)
Vermin – rats and roaches (Try living in NYC and not mention them. Good luck with that.)
Violence (Kumbya my Lord.. Kumbya…)
War and bloodshed (You’re kidding me – No questions about War for Oil?)
Weapons - guns, knives, etc. (Well so much for teaching the 2nd Amendment. I’m surprised the word Constitution isn’t banned -yet)
Witchcraft, sorcery, etc. (Sorry Harry Potter, no more Quidditch for you)
Oh please, they just want to promote an everyone is equal, utopian society where no one has more or less than anybody else, and if they do, it’s not fair. It’s good to share the wealth- you know spread it around. So let’s start indoctrinating the kids – get them while their young.
What do you think about the war on words? Let me know in the comments below