Come on, New York

by Emily Moore| Photo Editor

(Supporters of American education may want to hide their eyes, this is about to get personal.)

Dinosaur, religion, and vermin.

New York City's Department of Education scrutinizes common used words and raises a few eyebrows in the community of the validity of the ban.

What do these words have in common? Well, nothing, until you realize they’ve all fallen into the same nonsensical list. A list that, until recently, would have been laughed at. But of course, American education trumps all once again and instills rules that should never be followed.

The list in question is the New York City’s Department of Education’s list of banned words from city-wide tests.

While religion, abuse, pornography, sex, and terrorism (along with a few others) are sensitive topics, and probably should be tapered away from younger students for the time being; dinosaurs, rock-and-roll music, (don’t believe me? Look what CBS has to say. ) video games, and rats pose no real threat. I mean what does New York City have against a tyrannosaurus rex or a Boston record? Kids are going to be exposed to video games (they like video games!) and most young boys think rats are cool.

This brings to mind my favorite quote of all time: “When we start burning books, it won’t be long until we start burning people,” which brings about the issue of censorship. Where does censorship stop and violaton of the first ammendment begin? Does the city of New York even have constitutional rights to do this? I vote not.

Personally, I think this is ridiculous. I think channeling kids away from these words puts them in an entirely sheltered environment where bad things cease to exist; which, in the long run, can lead kids to have unrealistic expectations of the real world.

I mean, hello, slavery is covered in history courses. Are city officials then going to rewrite teacher curriculums to steer clear of this, too? Are we honestly in a day and age where slavery is so controversial that it can’t even be written on a test? Still?

Halloween, birthday, rap music, junk food. Really? Really New York? Look, I’m sorry to all the Jehovah’s witnesses out there that don’t celebrate birthdays, but the rest of the population does, and that should not be factored out. If we’re honestly going to start picking off words that people find offensive, our vocabulary is about to become exponentially severed. There is just no possible way to make every single person happy.

I think it best for us to just cut our losses and allow free speech to be the crux on which grammar decisions are made. I believe that if it’s in a dictionary, it’s free game. The same should go for New York City.


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