I am a little late to this story about how in the US extreme sensitivity to religious people’s beliefs can result in the most bizarre policies being implemented. For example, the New York City department of education has banned certain words in citywide tests because they may upset students. What words? ‘Dinosaur’ for one.
The prehistoric creatures are among 50 terms banned from use on tests administered to students by the city.
Others include birthdays (because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t observe them), class-indentifying terms like wealth and poverty, Halloween (as it may imply paganism) – and even dancing.
Why dinosaurs? Because they may upset those who dont believe in evolution.
The department said in a report obtained by the New York Post that it is taking these steps because such words ‘could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students’.
Jonathan Turley has the full list of the fifty banned words.
In my experience, students are far more robust than we give them credit for and are not the ones who get upset but their parents and religious busybodies. Such self-censorship is usually the pathetic attempt by authorities to spare themselves the headache of dealing with angry adults not upset children.