New York City Department of Education Bans References To Dinosaurs To Avoid Insulting Creationists

This story is so bizarre that I had to check it twice to make sure it was not an early April Fool’s joke. The New York City Department of Education has barred the use of “Dinosaur” on tests to avoid upsetting people who believe creationism. Putting aside the fact that creationists do not deny that dinosaurs existed, the decision is to bar the use of a reference to an entire species because a fact might insult religious sensibilities.

Educations in New York decided that, with such things as Halloween and dancing, the reference to dinosaurs “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.” Also banned is the word “evolution.” It is basically designing a test for Sarah Palin to pass.

“Birthday” is also out because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays.

The problem with this type of self-censorship is that runs against a core value of public education. I have been a long advocate of public educations and we have kept our kids in the public schools. Public schools are a core foundation for civil society — training future citizens in a shared and pluralistic environment. A child must learn not to be “distracted” by references to evolution because it is an accepted scientific fact in the world. It is part of the learning process and is itself a measurement of educational development. The same can be said for the realities of dancing and birthdays. Political correctness is being allowed to trump intellectual content.

Here are the other words on the list:

Here is the complete list of words that could be banned:

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.

Source: Daily Mail

72 thoughts on “New York City Department of Education Bans References To Dinosaurs To Avoid Insulting Creationists

  1. What about adjectives ? Black and white can have strong emotional responses, as do fat or thin, so adjectives should be banned too.

    And we should dispose of the verbs that produce the above nouns (enslave, enrich ..)

    So why dont we just cut to the chase and say that the ONLY words allowed are definite and indefinite articles (a, an, the ..) ?

  2. If this is true and the list in the post really represents a decision by the NYC schools, we are really in trouble. The source is The Daily Mail. Is this the London Daily Mail? Because the story is hard to accept it would be good to have more information on the source. Thanks.

  3. Denis – Friggin A man I am offended by “a” – thats right out!

    I’m praying (to FSM) that the good Justice is correct & this is one of those faux poutrage stories that get planted every week or two just to ensure the wingnuts maintain a full head of steam.

  4. I suspect they (and the principal) got their training with the Talibans or was it the CIA?

    Now shall we discuss the vanilla ice cream we just ate?
    “No, that is a suspicious homonym to “I scream”—-forbidden, forbidden, forbidden.” Shut up HAL.

  5. If this is true then the students should be wearing their tee shirts with a dinosaur picture front and back, along with their hoodies, to school tomorrow.
    Get it together NYC parents. Put the dinosaurs back in school where they belong.

  6. My first thoughts would be to blame this on idiot feminists that love to attention whore by emblazoning everything they do with the badges of all the different “trigger warnings” they suffer from:

    Because you can be assured the NY DOE is filled with feminists and social workers unable to find a productive job.

    But I have to admit, the best comment on this from FARK was by someone who referenced the Handicapper General and was about to make an interesting remark on the subject when cymbals and other crashing noices went off in his ears.

    Blaming this on our cultural Taliban is also not a bad direction to go in, of course, this just winds around to feminists at the DOE again.

  7. Really now….. Next you’ll have to cease using Native Americans…… We would not want to offend the aboriginal folks……

  8. For the School District in NYC to NOT use the word “dinosaur” in order to NOT “insult” fundamentalists is ABSOLUTELY ABSURD! Now, we are limiting the instruction of not only history, but also biology. There is definitely something VERY wrong with appeasement….it will ONLY make matters worse ultimately! (just ask P.M. Chamberlain about that.)

  9. I wonder how many are bribed. I mean it’s hard to imagine such concentrated numbskullery otherwise. Maybe it’s just to get revenge for not getting that raise they wanted.
    I mean you can’t even trust the garbage man or the dog catcher nowadays.

  10. Yeah, let’s just hope it was a study, done by a woman, right ANON.
    Knew that would get your eye and approval. Who said no to you little man?
    (He attacked me first!!!!! What a laugh, that won’t be repeated)

  11. Anon, you leave me almost speechless. Guess some woman, a teacher?, called you out on your misogynistic ideas and you still haven’t forgiven her. Nor has she forgiven you since you obviously haven’t learned anything.

  12. beetykath – I think you are on to something there. Of course we all know its not those feminazis at DOE mandating NYC schools do this – hits that Muslim, atheist, radical Christan, socialist, Fascist, Communist corporate sell out Obama. He called in the super secret orders. Surely the black helicopters and feminazi DOE reeducation camps can’t be far behind.

    Gad or politics is screwed up.

  13. bettykath,

    my “home help” tonight was a mother of 2, one a 12 year old girl.
    She was not sure if her daughter was pulling her leg today when she said:
    “Mama, boys are dumb”

    Look, I said, she’ll get this confirmed and will realize that men are that way, and will learn the control techniques all women use. “Smile, say yes, and manipulate.”
    She grudgingly admitted this might be so.

    I said, my wife did, and it took me 26 years to realize she behind her lovely voice was doing so. Did I mind, not after I understood it.

  14. Public schools are a joke. They are not vital for a civil society, public schools like all monopolizes provide failure. Privatizing schools is logical and efficent, it amazes me how many people think public schools are necessary. Public schools were implimented for the purpose of indoctrinating immigrants with christianity, not because of a failure with in private sector. Public schools eliminate all competing mid level education leaving a monoploized service that provides shity education services and only high end private education. Thus leading to the misconception that only rich people would get an education if private schools didnt exist. If public schools didnt exist there would be a demand for cheap mid level education so the free market would provide this. Private mid level educatio doesn’t exist now because they cant compete with public schools. No one is goingt to pay for a mid level private school when they pay tax that pay for a mid level public school that provides shitty services.

  15. Ah, Brandon, (sigh) I’m truly grateful for my public school education. I’d have learned a bunch of stuff on my own b/c I’m naturally curious and I love to read. But that small town public school provided me with much that I might not have learned otherwise. It wasn’t perfect by any means – the history courses, in particular, didn’t measure up for me (then I discovered Howard Zinn, biographies, historical novels, etc and history is soooo interesting) and I found that writing papers for English class to be a real chore (I could do them but the blank sheet of paper was a bit more intimidating than it was stimulating). But I learned anyway. No way I could have afforded a private school. Couldn’t have afforded a different public school either if that had been my choice. My choice: put the voucher money into more classrooms and more teachers, thereby reducing class size so the teachers and the students have a chance to do what they’re there for: teach and learn. And have the teachers uses more interactive teaching so students learn to be critical thinkers, rather than regurgitators.

  16. bettykath,
    It was not my daughter, it was the lady’s who helped me fix my food.tonight.

    As for being dumb, you don’t know the half of it.
    Let me just say, that I’ve been a stranger to myself for 74 years, and also to other humans. Seven years ago I went to a therapist and told him I felt like a Martian. So it was a slow process even with help to come into contact with myself and others this last fall.

    Thanks for the humor. But am serious when I say guys are stupid, if you compare to women. Who but women could have figured out how to live with meatheads bringing home the bacon. Mostly men are worthless.
    And associating with them dumbs down the women.


  17. No, I don’t hate guys. I just realize their limits.
    i wrote here how they could be replaced, and one said that was nonsense.
    Everybody knows guys are essential to making babies. He had not read what I had posted. Which was a good way of showing stupidity. Duh.

    And being Einstein has nothing to do with the replication/evolution problem.

  18. Anon,
    Thank you. I had to previously apologize because I couldn’t find the mispgynistic reference. Now it is right there above, or are you going to complain that I fail to see your use of irony?

    As to the issue at hand, tongs are getting curiouser amd ccuriouser, in the American Wonderland.

  19. Irony has its limits, as one who has been misunderstood—-that is to say they did not get the irony. But they did not see what I said as malicious.
    There ANON is different.

    I think we can agree that ANON is not very convincing if he thinks that what he said was ironic.

    Guess I’m sensitive to calling social workers feminist.
    Some of them are men. And most of them work their ass off, trying to keep up with the poverty load the system gives them to help.

    Jeez, why do we waste time on idiots.

  20. Mike Spindell 1, March 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    As to the issue at hand, tongs are getting curiouser amd ccuriouser, in the American Wonderland.
    A lot of the “curiouser” is because we understand “reason” in 18th and 19th century terms.

    Which said terms are false and no longer accepted science.

  21. I was always educated in private schools so I cannot comment on a public school experience. However it does seem to me that the rougher neighborhoods have crappier schools, major problems with violence, kids dropping out, etc. while the better communities have better, stronger schools. For instance in Potomac, MD there are tons of private, expensive schools and then there is the public school Churchill, one of the highest rated public schools in the country. The USNews ranks high schools:

    I would imagine that most of them are in good neighborhoods though I could be wrong.

  22. Maybe intelligent people should work for the DoE or run for local school boards instead of these creationists and other nut cases.

  23. First, I can’t believe this is real. Second, if it is real, then I predict that the only words left ten years from now will be “my”, “lord”, “and”, “savior”, “jesus”, and “christ”.” Nothing will exist or ever have existed. All memory of human culture and particularly science will be gone and forgotten. Schools will then be able to close entirely, as no one will need an education. Society will save a lot of money.

  24. commoner

    I’d appreciate a reply to my post where I replied to your accusing me of anti-semitic positions and/or espousing anti-semitic ideas.
    Having cast some heavy shit moral wise at me, I think you are obligated in fairness to reply to my defense.
    My position is clearer from that, I’ve previously in many posts made clear my jew position (which essentially is null, because I’ve never met them until intl conferences as an adukt, but admiring the many examples of outstanding ones, I’ve read 3 books I mentioned earlier in a post to SwM.

    If my information is incorrect in your eyes, then that is no proof of bigotry or bias or anti-semitism.

    Hope you will address this in all fairness. I am not one to look for scapegoats, that’s stupid. Neither ones responsible for our economis woes, that we can ascribe in part to the two most recent FED chiefs in my eyes, not as scapegoats but as poor judges of the need for regulation of CDs. And the Israel-Palestine conflict is not an area I have expertise nor studied closely—-but the casualty ratio (oproportionality) and the use of white phosphorus in cities is indefensible.

    Public ceremonies are poor indications of lobbying results. I mean comparing AIPAC speechs to bowing to Arab Kings and dictators.
    And the tokenism of the Israeli arab handling can best be evaluated by the scholars and position take living there. That handling was offered by you of neutral handling. And see no reason to pursue that for the reasons I give.

    It was the misunderstanding that I meant that the one percent is composed of jews. Of course not. Wouldn’t that be easy to identify, and so far have seen no attempts to do so.

    But an overmeasure of economic influence was my contention. Is that anti-semitic of me. A position says essentially nothing about bigotry, anti-semitism, etc. It is the other flag waving and emotionally charged words which are indicators. I showed none, I feel.

    Ignorance, taking a position on grounds you don’t approve of—-maybe, but anti-semitism, definitely no.

    But my position on Israel closely follows Chomsky, who is a respected Jewish scholar. In my eyes if someone from his own side criticizes with specifics, as Chomsky does repeatedly, then he’s either a traitor or a truthsayer—-or at least someone who has a defendible position.

    I attempt to summarize, but welcome your review of my earlier reply.
    Looking forward to your reply as I want to leave here cleansed, in your and particularly SwM’s mind from the anti-semitism smear.

    I am waiting.

  25. Mr. Turley, I would love for you to submit this post to 10 Day Book Club. Send your submission to and include your contact information within the content. All submissions must be written by the author. This is a great article showing how our words are being “cleansed” by some idiots in positions of power. As a paleontology representative, I am appalled.

  26. The original story was about banning the use of certain words from education(!) for someone’s crazy notion of sensitivity, and it sounds like satire to me. it has to be. Surely we’re not that irrational as a society that such a thing could be real. But then I notice how the comments have digressed into these tirades and unrelated issues and name-calling and arguing back and forth, and I just wonder if ANYBODY is rational any more. Let me tell you, fellas, what the rules are. You DON’T call other posters idiots, morons, etc. That’s a third-grade mentality, unworthy of intelligent, adult dialogue and debate. Stick to the point, and argue the merits. Make sense, don’t personalize and insult others who may disagree with you. OK, I’m ready to receive my insults now. But don’t forget…certain words are banned.

  27. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject Birthdays all holidays,Thanksgiving even benign Mother’s day.
    The Watchtower leaders want to be ‘different’ for the sake of being different.Jehovah’s Witnesses are a dysfunctional group from the get-go .
    Christmas-Jesus was not born on exactly Dec 25th,but he also did not have his *invisible* second coming in the month of October 1914,a falsehood that is the core doctrine of the Watchtower religion.

    *tell the truth don’t be afraid*–Danny Haszard

    New York City Schools Ban On Words For Standardized Tests Revoked

    04/ 2/12 10:39 PM ET

    Schools, New York City Word Ban, New York State Tests, Standardized Test Questions, Test Questions, New York News
    NEW YORK — New York City’s Department of Education has decided to drop its list of words to avoid on school assessment tests.

    Companies that want to come up with school tests used to measure student progress were being advised to stay away from a range of topics in the questions they put together. On the list of subjects to avoid were creatures from outer space, junk food, vermin and birthdays.

    The Department of Education had said the list was a recommendation, not a ban, and was meant to make sure tests don’t contain any biases or subjects that could distract the students.

    The department on Monday released a statement saying it will “continue to advise companies to be sensitive to student backgrounds.” It says the decision to drop the list of words was made after “the reaction from parents.”

  29. Terminology Schools within New York City: Adding power up your job…

    Effectively, it had been simpler to find out English skills while very young, however those people who are enthusiastic about improving proficiency in English in a later stage in every area of your life, take coronary heart. However the sensible mind b…

  30. Yeah, right! I call BS on this one. “I had to read the story more than once” is not an indication of veracity. I would need to see some documentation from the Educational Board of New York City…You’re saying that they can’t use the word birthday or computer!? Ha! This is faux news.

  31. When the Chinese name the first lunar colony Mao Zedong Base, we’ll deny they are up there because we will probably have adopted a constitutional amendment proclaiming the earth is flat.

  32. Penis!!! It’s okay I can say it because it’s not porn or a bodily function. People are so dumb this is ridiculous.

  33. Of course not, all we have to do is learn to live in the capitalist world; being able to work from dawn til dusk for companies that could care less about what we learned in school. They do not want any critical thinkers because any chance of someone ‘finding out’ their schemes and questioning them should be replaced by less educated people that cannot think for themselves because they were denied the right to learn about a variety of things in school because of the fear that it would ‘insult’ someone. Since when did we, Americans, worry about insulting someone when we live in a country with the right to freedom of speech and freedom to believe and think what we want to? Oh wait, those are just ideals anyway. Nope, just shut up and do what we tell you and you’ll be ready to work in no time.

  34. Give the Home Schoolers an optional Fake World test (that stresses folklore and superstition) and the School Schoolers a Real World test (that stresses science and sociology).

  35. If this describes genuine then the students ought to be sporting their own tee shirts which has a prehistoric photo front and back, and their hoodies, to varsity next week.
    Understand it with each other NYC mother and father. Position the dinosaurs again in institution wherever they fit in.

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