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By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: March 27th, 2012
Innocuous words banned from city-wide student exams, thanks to political correctness

What do dinosaurs, Halloween, birthdays and dancing have in common?

They are all words being banned by New York City schools on standardized testing used to measure student performance throughout the school year. New guidelines are being set by states across the nation, called sensitivity guidelines.

These guidelines will govern English, math, science and social-studies tests, which the city has forbidden to include a long list of what it deems “sensitive” words that could evoke unpleasant emotions, according to an article in the New York Post.

What’s wrong with those words? Well, a dinosaur could make someone who is sensitive about evolution upset. Halloween is considered a pagan holiday. Birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. And some sects don’t allowing dancing, either.

Overall, the city has banned 50 topics, all of them deemed to be too sensitive and possibly upsetting to students. In addition to those listed, the list includes any words that suggest wealth or poverty, divorce or disease, terrorism, slavery and homelessness. All of them might be too close to home for children.

Avoiding topics that could evoke unpleasant emotions on exams that measure reasoning is counterproductive, say some experts. After all, aren’t they supposed to be developing reasoning about those very, real life topics?

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2 comments on “Innocuous words banned from city-wide student exams, thanks to political correctness

  1. So, school authorities submit to religious idiocies once again?

    These terms aren’t upsetting to student; just religious students (and probably, their religious parents).

    And the religious claim they’re being picked on? Their arrogance knows no boundaries; in fact, it rather parallels their ignorance.

  2. Danny Haszard on said:

    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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