I came across this link via a friends page on Facebook and it made me want to both laugh and cry (mostly it inspired rage in me). It is an article about 50 words that are banned from being used in NYC school testing. And it is a ridiculous list. In my sincere opinion that is. I have found the full list here and have pasted them below for your reading pleasure.
The idea seems to be that these words may be controversial, may stir up difficult emotions in children, or may be prejudice against or towards certain groups of people. I understand the need for sensitivity in education, as in life. I want to live in a world of equality and respect (maybe someday we'll get there) and I believe schools have a large part to play in achieving that. Not sole responsibility, but a large part of it. School education, for me, should be about more that learning to read, write and count. Life needs more than that from us all.
So surely the best thing to do with a sensitive topic such as abuse or divorce is to face it. Talk about it and support those children effected by it. Not ignore it and leave kids even more isolated and vulnerable.
Here are the words... read em and weep!
- 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.
Some of the words on the list just make me laugh. They're not allowed to talk about television? Or vermin? According to this list a lot of what should be taught in schools now cannot be. History for example... no talking about slavery. Biology... OK but don't talk about vermin, death, disease, evolution or cancer. Religious Studies/ Religious Education/ Religious & Moral Education (or whatever your school calls it)... cannot exist as not allowed to talk about religion, religious holidays, paganism, witchcraft/ sorcery etc. Social Studies and Current Affairs are also off the curriculum... no talking about terrorism, crime, homelessness, unemployment, politics (wtf?), war, violence, animal shelters etc etc etc.
OMG! I mean really?? It seems like all that's left is sport and celeb gossip but oh wait... they are out too!
I would never allow my child to be educated in a school that followed this insane thinking. Children need to be protected, but pretending that the less pleasant things in life do not exist will only end with a whole generation of people completely unable to cope with life. We already have enough problems of our own doing without that as well.
End of rant...