by Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
May 05, 2012
Previously I reported on
the New York school
system’s move to not only ban words but entire topics and concepts from
their tests as if that would somehow make facts of life like poverty
I found this especially insane since it was essentially based on the
assumption that if an incredibly impoverished child didn’t have to answer
questions that included poverty on a test, they would somehow forget about
the empty dinner table they have to go home to.
Obviously this is so absurd that it is truly hard to believe that anyone is
actually imbecilic enough to believe such a thing makes any sense
Unfortunately, it is not just the United States which is plagued by
bureaucrats seeking to control speech.
Indeed, recently it was reported that teachers in a small town in British
Columbia have been informed that they cannot display quotes from the popular
children’s author Ted Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss),
supposedly because they are political messaging.
I always suspected that “green eggs and ham” was actually about
environmentalism and police, and thankfully it appears that the bureaucrats
overseeing the town of Prince Rupert have uncovered these hidden meanings
and are now protecting our children from them.
After all, there could never be such a thing as whimsical and humorous
children’s books without an ulterior motive or hidden message, right?
Of course, Dr. Seuss actually did include some much deeper and more
important concepts than just oddly colored eggs, but last time I checked it
was a good thing to challenge young minds and encourage them to think
One such work was Horton Hears a Who which has been said to subtly
deal with issues of prejudice and civil rights while The Lorax is
seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of ignoring environmental
Hilariously (although unsurprisingly), Fox News claimed that the Lorax film
based on the Dr. Seuss book released this year was trying to,
“indoctrinate our children” with an
Don’t you just love how
the establishment media - which
increasingly spews out intellectually bankrupt garbage like never before -
can create conspiracy theories with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, while
anyone pointing to real evidence of real conspiracies throughout history is
painted as a loon?
This all started with Bill 22, which came into effect in March 2012 and
ended the teachers’ strike and brought in a mediator:
Teachers & Allies Rally to Stop Bill 22
March 2012, Victoria BC
March 6, 2012
From the BC
Federation of Labour website (http://bcfed.ca)
"Today the BC Liberal Government has
introduced Bill 22, imposing 2 years of no wage
increases and seeking significant concession from
teachers regarding learning conditions and professional
development. At the same time, the BC Liberals eliminate
teachers' right to job action. After three terms this
tired government has not learned anything when it comes
to respecting workers' democratic rights."
Teachers have been protesting in the typically
aggressive manner in which teachers operate - by wearing T-shirts, signs and
bumper stickers expressing their disappointment.
A 1st grade teacher at Prince Rupert elementary school was told
that she could be disciplined for wearing a Dr. Seuss quote on her clothing
or vehicle while on school property.
What was the quote they deemed so offensive?
“I know, up on the top you are seeing great
sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
Some might remember this line from the book
Yertle the Turtle when Yertle organizes his fellow turtles to stand on
top of each other so Yertle can climb to the top and see a great distance.
This was far from an isolated incident.
As of late April, eight teachers in this
particular school district had been issued letters informing them that they
could face disciplinary actions for allegedly displaying political messages.
According to the president of the Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union
Joanna Larson, this is because the administrators do not want to let
students even see these messages.
“We feel very censored here right now. We
have feelings that our rights to freedom of expression have been
violated,” Larson said.
I wouldn’t qualify that as a feeling, as it is a
clear, objective fact.
Their rights to freedom of expression are indeed
being violated in a truly absurd manner.
Other teachers who are trying to avoid getting the letters - which sound
eerily like threats - have to park away from the school’s property in order
to continue to display their bumper stickers in opposition to Bill 22.
“If they try to use a heavy-handed approach,
we just have more people trying to exercise civil disobedience,” Larson
However, what they’re doing is probably the
least aggressive form of civil disobedience possible.
This makes me see their suppression of dissent
amongst the teachers that much more insane.
It is important to note that indeed Geisel had a political bent, evidenced
by his work as a political cartoonist, although I think it is equally
important to note that very few young children could likely recognize these
messages without having them pointed out to them.
If the administration could show that 1st graders were able to
tease out the deeper meanings in Horton Hears a Who or The Lorax,
they might have grounds to do this, but I seriously doubt many youngsters
are capable of that literary analysis.
Judith Morgan wrote a book on Geisel entitled Dr. Seuss and Mr.
Geisel, and she says that he was indeed writing about the evils of,
“greed and destruction of the planet and
narrow-minded, close-minded types.”
“Seuss’ work continues to resonate with kids and parents because it is
honest; it battles prejudice; it sends the imagination soaring and fits
the wonder of a young child’s mind and dreams,” Morgan added.
She said that banning the Dr. Seuss quote is,
“very upsetting” to teachers and “it’s the
ridiculous nature of it that makes it almost unbelievable.”
I couldn’t agree more, as Dr. Seuss books still
line the walls of countless libraries and the bookshelves of many children
who enjoy the stories not because they speak to their inner revolutionary
but because they are incredibly imaginative and enjoyable.
There might be an even larger point here, which Larson brings to the fore in
saying that the ludicrous actions of the administration perfectly exemplify
the “ridiculous human nature” Dr. Seuss wrote about.
“This is why he did what he did,” she said.
“I think he would think it’s absurd.”
All I can say is that I hope the administration
comes to the realization that they’re making themselves look like the
antagonist of a Dr. Seuss book in what must be one of the most nonsensical
actions taken by a school bureaucracy in recent times.
Political Correctness or Political Insanity?
New York City Schools Ban Words and Topics From Tests
by Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
March 27, 2012
(Image credit: biologycorner/Flickr)
If anyone needed a single case to point to in
order to show that political correctness has gone completely insane here in
the United States, this is it. With the rise of such practices, we also see
the growth of the “nanny state” which seeks
control every aspect of our lives.
The New York City Department of Education has banned several words in
an attempt to be as politically correct as possible, although I see it as
pure imbecilic nonsense.
There are some 50 words which are officially banned from being used on tests
given to students by the city, the banning of which is outright absurd.
Some of the more insane choices are:
...and many more.
In fact, it is not just these words that are banned, but indeed the entire
topic cannot be included on any tests administered by the city.
This is supposedly because such references,
“could evoke unpleasant emotions in the
students,” according to the
New York Post.
These subjects were outlined in a request for
proposals which was given to companies who compete to create standardized
tests for English, math, science and other subjects which are administered
multiple times per year.
Dinosaurs are banned because they supposedly might offend people who do not
believe in evolution, yet this makes little to no sense given that even the
most fundamentalist creationists seem to realize that there were, indeed
Even the so-called “Creation
Museum” in Petersburg, Kentucky includes a dinosaur exhibit called the “Dinosaur
Den.” The only people who refuse to recognize that dinosaurs
existed are likely delusional or potentially insane.
If the people behind the Creation Museum can
agree that dinosaurs existed, as they actually have “a number of real
fossilized dinosaur eggs, a
Hadrosaur tibia, [and a] Triceratops
skeleton casting,” on display, who out there refuses to acknowledge their
Words suggesting either wealth or poverty are banned because they could
supposedly make children feel jealous or saddened. I guess the New York City
Department of Education believes that if you pretend it doesn’t exist, it
simply doesn’t exist.
Seems to me that the Department of Education has a great deal in common with
ostriches and babies under 7-9 months who have yet to develop object
permanence, according to
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development.
This head-in-the-sand approach is also applied to divorces and diseases,
since students might have divorced parents or might be sick in one way or
I guess they believe that if students don’t read the word “divorce” or
anything to do with it, they’ll simply forget that their parents are
divorced. That makes about as much sense as thinking that if no one says
“cancer” or “disease” suddenly no one in the world will have cancer.
However, the Department of Education insists that this is not censorship and
that this is a completely routine, typical practice
Unfortunately, our government has proven time and time again that they’re
not the most competent individuals when it comes to logic and critical
“Some of these topics may be perfectly
acceptable in other contexts but do not belong in a city- or state-wide
assessment,” the request said.
Unfortunately, New York City is not alone and
such “sensitivity guidelines” have actually been published by a group of
They said that tests should not mention group
dancing, various luxuries, junk food, homelessness and even witches.
“This is standard language that has been
used by test publishers for many years and allows our students to
complete practice exams without distraction,” a Department of Education
spokesperson said, as reported by the Post.
However, this fails to address the fact that New
York City’s list is almost twice the length of those produced by others and
has even fewer exceptions.
It is my humble opinion that censoring any topic from a standardized test
(within reason, of course, as explicitly violent or erotic material
obviously has no place on a school test) is nothing short of absurd and
represents some of the more troubling ways the American “nanny state” has
reared its ugly head.
According to the list, tests cannot mention homes with swimming pools and
computers or anything which could be construed as potentially “disrespectful
to authority or authority figures.”
Even more insane, they are not allowed to personify animals or inanimate
objects, which makes even less sense than most of the items.
According to officials, this is not necessary an absolute ban, as some items
can be included on exams but only on a case-by-case basis.
“The intent is to avoid giving offense or
disadvantage any test takers by privileging prior knowledge,” Robert
Pondiscio, a spokesman for the Core Knowledge Foundation, said to the
“But the irony is they’re eliminating some subjects, like junk food,
holidays and popular music, that the broadest number of kids are likely
to know quite a lot about,” he added.
“If the goal is to assess higher-order thinking skills, controversial
topics, for example, ones that are the subject of political debate, are
exactly what students should be reasoning about,” Deanna Kuhn, a
professor at the Teachers College at Columbia University, aptly pointed
out, according to the Post.
One of the most common justifications for these
nonsensical practices is that they are attempting to avoid
offending people of certain religious beliefs.
birthdays are banned since Jehovah’s
Witnesses do not celebrate them
witches and Halloween are banned since
they could be interpreted as pagan
terrorism is banned because it might be
If you’re absolutely astounded by these choices,
you’re not alone.
I honestly can’t even believe that such a thing
is true, but I guess it goes to show just how far our country has gone down
the rabbit hole of political correctness and the freedom-crushing nanny