I hated taking tests in school. They brought out a wide range of emotions, but mainly frustration. It seems, however, that in New York City schools certain words have been banned from tests as they may evoke certain feelings or offend people.
Many people are offended by strange things, but you would be really surprised to see the words on this list:
- 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)
- 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
- Junk food
- In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
- Loss of employment
- Nuclear weapons
- Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
- Rap Music
- Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
- Rock-and-Roll music
- Running away
- 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.
The schools claim it is about being politically correct:
“So we’re not an outlier in being politically correct. This is just making sure that test makers are sensitive in the development of their tests,” Walcott said Monday.
The Department of Education seems to be saying that while these words are appropriate in other aspect of life they are not appropriate on tests. They claim that this behavior (the banning of words on tests) is common practice. They point to the fact that in California does not use the word “weed” on tests. “Weed” is much different than “Hunting” in this writer’s opinion.
“This is a clear example of the hyper-sensitivity that exists in our city and state’s ivory towers of education, and it shows how out-of-touch these career bureaucrats are with the communities they serve,” Tobacco said in a release. “This is a foolish policy that will ultimately hurt teachers’ abilities to expand their students’ vocabularies and understanding of human history.”
According to CNN this is the fifth year that New York City Schools have created such a list. The list is meant to avoid “unpleasant emotions“. This writer has unpleasant emotions whenever taking any tests. Perhaps all tests should simply be banned.