War On Words: NYC Dept. Of Education Wants 50 ‘Forbidden’ Words Banned From Standardized TestsMarch 29, 2012
Fearing 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, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported. “Halloween” is targeted because it suggests paganism; a “birthday” might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Julie Lewis’ family celebrates Christmas and Kwanzaa, but she told CBS 2′s Emily Smith she wants her children to appreciate and learn about other holidays and celebrations.
“They’re going to meet people from all walks of life and they’re going to have to learn to adjust,” Lewis said.
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!’” 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 who split from spouses or are ill.Read More...