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Weird Tuesday, March 27th 2012 at 7:00 pm

NYC Department of Education Wants to Ban 50 Words From Standardized Tests, Like “Dinosaur”

In an apparent quest not to potentially hurt the feelings of students, the New York City Department of Education is trying to get around 50 words and phrases banned from use in tests issued by the city. Extremely offensive words and phrases, like “dinosaur,” “celebrities,” and “computers in the home.”

The goal of the quest isn’t exactly taking a side, as both “evolution” and “religion” are on the list of words the Department wishes to remove. “Dinosaur,” similarly, is on the list because it suggests evolution. “Halloween” is on the list because it suggests paganism, and “birthday” is on the list because certain religious groups don’t celebrate them. You’ll note that the list also contains words and phrases that signify some sort of wealth, which yes — you guessed it — are included because they might make impoverished people feel a way that they don’t want to feel. Here’s the list of words that could be banned, from CBS New York:

  • Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
  • Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
  • Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
  • Bodily functions
  • Cancer (and other diseases)
  • Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
  • Celebrities
  • Children dealing with serious issues
  • Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
  • Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
  • Crime
  • Death and disease
  • Divorce
  • Evolution
  • Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
  • Gambling involving money
  • Halloween
  • Homelessness
  • Homes with swimming pools
  • Hunting
  • Junk food
  • In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
  • Loss of employment
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
  • Parapsychology
  • Politics
  • Pornography
  • Poverty
  • Rap Music
  • Religion
  • Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
  • Rock-and-Roll music
  • Running away
  • Sex
  • Slavery
  • Terrorism
  • Television and video games (excessive use)
  • Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
  • Vermin (rats and roaches)
  • Violence
  • War and bloodshed
  • Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
  • Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.

If you’re wondering what the hell, welcome to the concepts of political correctness and offensiveness. Generally practiced out of goodwill, but rarely hitting the target. No one would be mad at the Department of Education for trying to be sensitive toward their students’ plights, but there’s a limit, and most would probably agree that a discussion of “slavery” is actually pretty relevant in an educational setting.

(via CBS New York)

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