Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

New York City Department Of Education Wants Certain Words Banned From Tests

April 4, 2012 by  

New York City Department Of Education Wants Certain Words Banned From Tests
New York City wants to eliminate the words “hunting” and “terrorism” from standardized tests.

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDE) issued a list of words and topics that it wanted to omit from the questions of standardized tests. The list, which the NYCDE believes is “sensitive to student backgrounds,” is meant to prevent “unpleasant emotions.”

Shael Polakow-Suransky, the city’s chief academic officer, decided that omitting the words and topics is unnecessary at the present time.

“After reconsidering our message to test publishers and the reaction from parents, we will revise our guidance and eliminate the list of words to avoid on tests,” Polakow Suransky wrote.

The words and topics the NYCDE wanted to expel include the following:

  • 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.)
  • Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “New York City Department Of Education Wants Certain Words Banned From Tests”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • LAB

    So let the dumbing down and brainwashing commence! WTF!!! No wonder kids can’t handle their lives anymore!!! IDIOTS “training” them, not teaching them!!!

    • Vigilant

      “The list, which the NYCDE believes is “sensitive to student backgrounds,” is meant to prevent “unpleasant emotions.”

      What a hoot! I guess the words “welfare’ and “abortion,” both absent from the list, are calculated to give these kids a pleasant feeling.

  • Joe

    horsefeathers. (oh, I’m sorry if that hurt somebody’s feelings)

  • castaway

    So essentially the children are not to speak. I want America, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights back. Where did it all go? What a shame that thousands of people have died for this country, and still do, on the premise of liberty and freedom, and including free speech. What a scam. In addition, we have an illegal alien as president!!!??? Whoa!

  • castaway

    Actually after reading the list again, it tells me they are trying desperatly trying to introduce Agenda 21, a piece at a time. I sure would like to see the U.S. kick the U.N. off our soil, and remove ourselves from this slime pit. Oh I forgot, we are the worlds “Top Cop” we cannot abandon that either. No one else, in the entire world is able to do it!! Give me a break!

    • teaparty13

      I’m with you about kicking that worthless UN out of the country and the USA leave that POS. As far as the NYCDE, banning certain words like this will eventually find their way north to infect the rest of NYSDE’s..I hope to see or hear one day that Upstate NY & NYC become SEPERATE.

      • http://Aol CommonSense4America

        Maybe the kids will find out that the words are band, and figure that they are “naughty” words. That will insure that they learn and use them. NYCDE, not so dumb afterall. ROFLMAO!

      • http://Aol CommonSense4America

        Banned, not band.

    • eddie47d

      Considering that Republicans dispise celebrities and the talk of bodily functions maybe this is another right wing conspiracy to keep certain words away from children. The argument could go either way. Republicans would cringe if a member of their family who is in school wanted to discuss homelessness or poverty.

    • tom

      i am with you ,this is one corrupt organization, the UN that should have been
      dissolved ,long ago. … the same for the EUSR , European Union of Socialist/islamics
      Republics.- Putin’s USSR, and the formation of islamic nations under a caliphate
      of extreme religious abuses …. why do we take all this crap………..GOD, if you are
      out there , with all that power ,please give us a helping hand to do some cleaning
      down here.- thank you

  • Chester

    Well, when you leave all those topics out of tests, there isn’t a lot left to use, other than plain English and Math, along with a small touch of ancient history. Still, a number of those are things in the news on more or less a daily basis, so leaving them out eliminates a lot of current events, so less to have to teach for or study for.

  • David

    we really pay these people to come up with something like this. you would think that they would spend more time to come up with better ideas on how to teach our children

    • Vigilant

      TEACHING our children? Perish the thought!

      “Educators,” well over 90% leftists, have adopted John Dewey’s plan to change the culture through programming youngsters’ minds.

      BY and large, they’ve been successful.

  • s c

    New York is in dire need of collective brain transplants. All you need to do to understand what’s going on is in a simple 5-letter word [19 letters and a middle finger for utopians].
    Utopians fear TRUTH. Public education ["pubic" education for utopians] is a waste of time and money. Kinda funny how the emphasis on edyukayshun has given Amerika a time bomb in the form of an education loan bubble.
    Thanks for NOTHING, utopians. If I didn’t make you feel offended, I’m so sorry [next time, schmucks].

    • Sirian

      s c,
      You missed the article in last months “Utopian Daily” that states, from years of intense research, that there is an exorbitant amount of salt content in all of the words listed. From this discovery they have determined that it would be much healthier if children were prevented from the use of such words so as to not increase their weight levels over the next ten years if not longer. Without the funding provided by the Bloomberg/Muchella Foundation this vitally important information would have been prohibited from reaching the hungry ears of utopian fools, nation-wide!! :)

  • TIME

    Your silence is how this all goes on. If you will not stand up to the “System and just say NO!”
    Then You have in fact allowed all of what has happens to unfold.

    YOU all must become aware of all the evil then take back YOUR Power from the Ruling Elite who use you and waste your children on worthless wars for profit.
    As well all the Worthless junk you don’t need.

    If you all want your nation back, then start at where it all began; Repeal every amendment past the 12th, Get the ORIGINAL 13th Amendment back, as in the one Ratified in 1819
    where {all Americans were “Equal”} no matter what color, race or religion or even sex.

    All familys known as the “Ruling Elite” of the world must be removed from all office’s they hold then placed where they belong for the “Crimes they have commited against
    Humanity” over the last 5000 years.

    * The Government must be established under the ideals of; “treating each other as we would like to be treated ourself..” If we all lived by that one simple code of conduct then we would not hate each other for our differances, we would embrace these differances.

    When we all treat each other with the same “RESPECT” then there will be NO WARS for Profit, let alone gain by the Ruling Elite’s.
    Every person in the world must be accountable for their actions based on these same laws.
    We must all stop with all FALSE IDOLS, there can be only one to whom we worship, and that can not be MAN, nor Movie stars – Sports people, nor Political person.

    Again Politic’s, = Poly to “adhere to”; — Tick – “A Blood sucking leach.”
    They divide you – then they conquer you by making YOU a SLAVE to them. You can never be FREE by being a SLAVE to other Men, either by way of wage or non wage format.

    Peace and Love

    • http://google gary gerke

      Your response to this article is right on the money, I won’t need to comment at all!!!!!!
      Thank You!

  • ajax

    The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

  • tom

    there is something bad in the air .- have you guys been smoking peyote.

    what happened with tests on maths ,history,geometry, sciences,litterature,
    social sciences , the constitution .civility,languages. yeah, tests will make poor
    kids nervous and might make them mad( sorry i had to mention this word .
    mad) and bring a gun and start shooting at you guys for being so stupid.-

    the dumbing down of america

  • tom

    the people of new york city departament of education, are making too much money
    and or have too much time to spare, to concocte this idea.- you guys should choose
    this same list and use them in debates with the kids.- By the way take some time
    and teach them manners . you know like saying hello .good morning teacher,thanks,
    good bye ,excuse me ….. or maybe they have been eliminated in previous list, kuz
    the kids dont use them, or they dont know what they mean, are needless or……….
    my parents dont use them ……peace if i may say so ..

  • hooder

    Our education system has completely disintegrated. What sort of idiot would propose something like this? We are becoming a society of spineless fools because of the ideas of a system that promotes backing down from anything you might believe in to appease some fools who want you to think as they do. The government doesn’t want you to think for yourself.

  • Don Sanborn

    We need to teach not control

  • Dee

    How about assinine?

  • Bettelu Briel

    Don’t let school get in the way of your education

  • William

    So then there would be NO DISCUSSION in these schools just inane brain washing-idiot-liberals are sooo stupid!

    • eddie47d

      Mr Suransky is a very diligent administrator and more in the style of a Republican/Conservative educator. Look him up and know of whom you speak of.

  • Average Joe

    When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.
    Robert A. Heinlein

    ‘Nuff said!

  • John Hanna

    I don’t know what they would be testing for that would include these topics.
    It sure would provide an easy way to get rid of good teachers that didn’t tow the union or agenda line of action.
    It sure would be a chore to go over these topics and make sure that nothing on any test crossed accidentally or could be considered inclusive at an angle for every test made – and making tests is one of the more difficult chores for a teacher.
    Well, for those teachers that actually know the subject well enough not to just copy the tests of those teachers previous and those smart teachers are just hired for a short time and then canned for that reason only – to provide testing materials to be used by those that take their place – those that are square with the agenda.

  • http://Aol CommonSense4America

    This is just NUTS!! All I want back is common sense, self responsibility, and the U.S. Constitution.


    I noticed they had “loss of employment” as a word that might promote “unpleasant emotions”.

    Didn’t see:

    Illegal immigrants
    racial motives

    You mean to tell me that the words such as “birthdays” “Computers in home” “Homes with swimming pools”, these words are likely to cause more “unpleasant emotions” than the words listed above?

    I for one find the listed words above causing much more “unpleasant emotions” than the word – Birthday – Computer or swimming pool

    • eddie47d

      Many of those words would be too upsetting and are used by Republicans Wildfire. Nice try though.

  • Grumpyolman

    This is probably only a partial list. The real list contains so many words and topics that are prohibitted that it only allows a few basis words – ” See Spot. See Spot run. Run Spot, run”. See? Doesn’t that make you feel so much better?

  • 45caliber

    Two things of note here:

    First, they backed down on this since there was so much fuss about it.

    Second, they don’t bother to have the teachers write up their own tests as they did when I was in school. No wonder the kids keep failing to get good grades. The teacher teaches one thing and they are tested on something else.

  • mac

    I would add to the article that, if you don’t include these words how do you test for those children with exceptional intelligence? In some cases a well thought out extra choice among the answers might help ease the pain of those children who don’t understand all the words, but to eliminate these words is to eliminate determining those children with higher abilities.

  • mac

    Snowy, how about making a comment relevant to this article? Your hate does not add to this discussion.

  • http://n/a cje

    Is it really the worst thing in the world if someone “feels bad” at some point in their day? Also, maybe if we just pretend that none of these bad things ever happen then maybe that will just make them all go away. Yeah, right. Get real, and start teaching some truth and reality to these students so maybe they can know what to expect when they go out into the real world!!

  • Neil Swan

    When I went to school none of those things were mentioned, Some of the health subjects were but not in tests. The things that should be well covered in school are reading, writing,
    math, science, history and geology. also other languages and technology. These were the things covered in Colorado schools.


    • http://naver samurai

      You mean you live out there with Eddie47d? Now we know why you are so confused on issues, though I do agree with what you said about what subjects they are to teach. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • Neil Swan

        Public schools shouldn’t teach about religion. Even though Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe in the God of Abraham, they have different concepts. Religious teaching should be done by churches and religious schools. So kids of different religions can attend public schools without having teachers trying to convert them.


  • John Wilch (TSgt, USAF Ret.)

    Folks, we need to do away with all Department of Education (Re-education Department) and get back to the basics: readin’, ‘ritten and ‘ritmatic; along with a good helping of the Constitution and a healthy dose of proper English. In other words Educate our kids!

    Oh, along with doing away with the DoE, oust the Teacher’s Unions they’re the major problem in the failing to properly educating our kids.

    • Bettelu Briel

      AMEN to that. A one room school house can educate better than a modern school room. Jay Leno often did ‘JayWalking’ and asked college kids on the street questions. It was dumbfounding and frightning at the answers these college students gave to questions such as ‘how many Supreme Court Justices do we have?’ Or, ‘how many moons does earth have?’
      I would want to be educated in the major basics of learning than have a course in basketweaving.
      The poorly educated are easy to control.

  • Ben

    That is Bullfeathers I would like a few words taken out of the dictonary and any test. They are Libera, Democrat, welfair freebies, oh yes and Obama.

  • http://msn Lew

    Bettelu. how many supreme court justies do we have? we should’nt have any. unless their going to impeach obumer. they are a big part of our problems in our government/ everything else, education ect.

    • John Wilch (TSgt, USAF Ret.)

      9 justices. The SCOTUS do not empeach the President that is the job of the Senate and that is only after the House has brought him up on charges. Oh, you’ll say that the House is not doing their job because they haven’t done so. Well, Lew there’s not enough Republicans to get a consensious because I believe that they have to get a simple majority and not all of them will vote to do so.

      If they could you then you have to go up against the Senate which as we both know is run by the Socialist (oops, I mean Democrates) and Prince Harry.

      • http://msn Lew

        Thank You John. I knew if I had any misconceptions a member or retired member of our military could set me straight. I don’t think anyone in our government has a clue about anything anymore.

  • DH

    Teaching has been taken over by a bunch of social idiots, facilitated by government idiots. Books that they are teaching from have been cleansed of all that they disagree with, including the fact that it was muslims that brought down the trade towers in New York. There is no such thing as God or Jesus, those words purged from all learning.

    They have made college loans without regard as to the ability of a tudent to even succeed in school, much less a consideration as to the ability to epay a loan. Not everyone should go to college or even be encouraged to do so. The entry of the government to provide all of these loans has caused tuitions in all schools to increase disproportionate to other costs.

  • C.W.A.

    So, children are not to be exposed to reality in any form. They are not to learn about the world they live in. In that case, they are wasting their time in school (is that redundant?).

  • GaryTraditionalUltraConservative

    This deliberate and intentional censorship and brainwashing of innocent and still naive children is an unethical and imoral judgement by people, whomever they may be and regardless of what their personal political, religious or philosophical ideaologies or agendas may be, to selfishly and arrogantly place their own personal beliefs and desires above an all encompassing world veiw education for other people’s children. This issue reminds me of my attempt to edit, at Wikipedia, the currently still out of context meaning of, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”, which is a commonly known and obvious legal CONDITIONAL clause that was deliberately and intentionally and purposely written and included into the Citizenship Clause “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” contained within the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. This shocking revelation, to the other so called “editors” at Wikipedia, that the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”(meaning subject excusively only to the jurisdiction of the United States and not subject to the jurisdiction of any foreign nation state or foreign colonial empire where a Foreign National has citizenship in) to dumbed down and grammatically ignorant adults, is the same as refusing to allow a person to edit a commonly known fact, that the earth is round and is not flat as people of the past centuries during the Early Middle Ages had emphatically assumed and believed that the earth is flat until later generations of people were taught that the earth is round and not flat based on scientifically tested and verified evidence. Some “editors” at Wikipedia( AKA Wishipedia ) are currently in a state of bewilderment and absolute shock, like a deer frozen in complete confusion and panic when the deer’s eyes are caught and temporarily blinded by the bright headlights of an approaching automobile, as displayed by the Wikipedia editors’ total bewilderment, total confusion, total panic and absolute cowardly fear of the obvious and well known fact that “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is a very simple, is a very obvious and is a very to the point legal conditional clause that is a very common legal conditional clause, minus thereof, in hundreds of thousands of law codes of town and city Municipalities, Counties, States and in the U.S. Federal Government Law Codes, which indicates that there is a prerequisite condition or that there are prerequisite conditions that a person must meet or fulfill before that person can be qualified or eligible to be granted and receive citizenship of the United States and of the State wherein that person resides. The Citizenship Clause without and excluding the legal conditional clause would be “All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”. The phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”, contained within the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, has been a grammatically correct and a legally accurate conditional clause during the last 144 years since the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 and the conditional clause “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is still a conditional clause and it will remain a conditional clause forever just as the earth is still round and the earth will remain round forever or until an asteroid or a comet strikes the earth this year on December 21, 2012 and cancels everyone’s holiday vacation plans according the Mayan Calendar. Those people who believe the Mayan Calendar should invest in a good strong crash helmet and the editors at Wikipedia should invest in at least a 5th grade level English Grammar course at their local Elementary School.

  • GaryTraditionalUltraConservative

    OMG, I must also be immoral to have misspelled immoral as imoral. Please forgive this cardinal sin!

  • fastfood

    Some other words of “dumbing Down” they forgot to mention: Reality, Truth, Education, Responsibility……..

  • lowlywise

    Reminds me of my senior English teacher in high school. Her idea of teaching English literature was to spoonfeed us facts “about” the authors, some received opinions about the texts (when we actually read them), and memorizing (for which I’m ever grateful). When we came to the 17th century she announced that we would skip John Milton altogether, because it would be wrong to discuss politics or religion. I remember sitting there suppressing my response: “Add sex, and what is there to talk about?”


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.