Seriously, “dinosaurs’? I think Fred and Wilma Flinstone would be turning in their virtual graves if they knew that their beloved pet, Dino and his ilk could not be discussed in New York City schools. I mean, at my age, I can possibly understand the word “birthday” being banned. Who needs to see that word as a reminder that the clock keeps ticking, but “dinosaurs?”
The New York City Department of Education has a list of over 50 words they are hoping to have banned from the standardized tests that their schools administer every year with “dinosaurs” and “birthdays” being among them. They are in the process of revamping their current standardized tests and have sent the list out to publishers who are vying for the job.
Their feeling is that certain words or phrases can make students uncomfortable and they have deemed these words to be of a “sensitive” nature. Words that represent wealth could make children jealous and creationists might not like dinosaurs because it could remind one of evolution. Even my favorite “not really a holiday”, holiday took a hit…..Halloween. Apparently it reeks of paganism. Please, don’t tell Charlie Brown.
This is not the first year that they have done this and they are quick to point out that other states have done the same. My state, California, has banned the word “weed” which is a little surprising given the liberal “weed” laws in this state and the fact that we are leaning so far left that even my home will be ocean front property soon. Florida apparently avoids the phrases that use “Hurricane” or “Wildfires,” because it must be written somewhere in the Florida educational system that if you avoid reading words about natural disaster, it will never happen to you.
Here is the complete list of words that could be banned. Is the NYC Department of Education justified in protecting kids from the rough realities of life or is this just crazy?
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.) and Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.