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‘Dinosaurs’ May Be Banned From All NYC Standardized Tests

Dinosaur kids
Mark Dadswell, Getty Images

They are still going to teach kids about dinosaurs in New York City public schools. (At least we think they are.) But if the New York City Department of Education has their way, the word ‘dinosaur’ won’t be allowed to appear on any standardized test.

Why? Because it might offend students who don’t believe in evolution. “Dinosaur” is perhaps the most outwardly ridiculous of the 50 or so words on the Dept. of Education’s proposed banned list, but many of the others are pretty darn head-scratching.

“Birthday” is out because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate them, and “Halloween” gets the ax because of its link to paganism. There can be no references to wealth or poverty — for example a question about a kid who has a computer at home would be deemed unfair to children whose parents might not have enough money to afford a home computer.

The entire of list of banned words is below. Almost as baffling as the Dept. of Ed wanting to get rid of all references to dinosaurs is the fact that they feel the need to tell their test writers that pornography is a subject that shouldn’t be mentioned on a standardized test.

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)
Celebrities
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
Crime
Death and disease
Divorce
Evolution
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
Gambling involving money
Halloween
Homelessness
Homes with swimming pools
Hunting
Junk food
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
Loss of employment
Nuclear weapons
Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
Parapsychology
Politics
Pornography
Poverty
Rap Music
Religion
Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
Rock-and-Roll music
Running away
Sex
Slavery
Terrorism
Television and video games (excessive use)
Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
Vermin (rats and roaches)
Violence
War and bloodshed
Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)

[via CBS New York]

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