In an extreme case of political correctness, NYC officials seek to ban words like "dinosaurs" (for those who do not believe in evolution) and "birthdays" (for Jehovah's Witnesses), along with many other common words from tests in an attempt to avoid offending. The list of words was provided to those competing to overhaul New York City English, math, science, and social-studies tests given throughout the year to measure student progress, according to the New York Post.
Some of the other banned words include "dance," "Halloween," "weath," "poverty," "divorce," "diseases," "terrorism," and "slavery." "Homes with swimming pools and computers are also unmentionables here Â— because of economic sensitivities." The rationale is that students would be "distracted" by these controversial words while taking an exam.
"The intent is to avoid giving offense or disadvantage any test takers by privileging prior knowledge," said Robert Pondiscio, a spokesman for the Core Knowledge Foundation, an education group. So, in the attempt of preparing children for the future by testing their knowledge, these folks seem to be doing the opposite. In the real world, won't students occasionally have to deal with situations that may be offensive? How is this helping children?
This is helping children just like giving participation trophies helps children. It doesn't.
The banned words are certainly not offensive in the general population. Even those whose religion does not celebrate birthdays, for example, are surely aware that others do, and will have to live with that their whole lives. Political correctness is not going to help children; knowledge will. The intent, not to "distract" children, may be sincere, but it is inadvertently hurting them. By shielding children unnecessarily with innocuous words like "dance" and "dinosaurs," while simultaneously allowing them to listen to very offensive lyrics in rap music, or teaching them at a way-too-young age about the joys of sex is a bit ironic, yes?
No wonder people home-school.