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In a bizarre case of political correctness run wild, educrats have banned references to “dinosaurs,” “birthdays,” “Halloween” and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests. That’s because they fear such topics “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.” Dinosaurs, for example, call to mind evolution, which might upset fundamentalists; birthdays aren’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses; and Halloween suggests paganism.
“Some of these topics may be perfectly acceptable in other contexts but do not belong in a city- or state-wide assessment,” the request reads. Words that suggest wealth are excluded because they could make kids jealous. Poverty is likewise on the forbidden list. Also banned are references to divorces and diseases, because kids taking the tests may have relatives who split from spouses or are ill. Officials say such exclusions are normal procedure.
The city asks test companies to exclude “creatures from outer space,” celebrities and excessive TV and video-game use — items that are OK elsewhere. Homes with swimming pools and computers are also unmentionables here — because of economic sensitivities — while computers in the school or in libraries are acceptable. City officials also specified that test makers shouldn’t include items that are potentially “disrespectful to authority or authority figures,” or give human characteristics to animals or inanimate objects. Terrorism is deemed too scary. Slavery is also on the forbidden list.