The New York City Department of Education is seeking to have certain words banned from standardized tests, including references to rock and roll, rap music, pornography, dinosaurs and other things deemed “unsettling.” Via CBS New York:
“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.
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.
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.”
The full list is below. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
Cancer (and other diseases)
Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
Death and disease
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
Gambling involving money
Homes with swimming pools
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
Loss of employment
Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
Television and video games (excessive use)
Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
Vermin (rats and roaches)
War and bloodshed
Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.