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March 29th, 2012
01:09 PM ET

Only in America: 50 banned words

On Wednesday's edition of "Piers Morgan Tonight," the host used his "Only in America" segment to discuss the new hope by the New York City Department of Education to ban 50 words from standardized tests.

So which words are banned? "Dinosaur. What on Earth could be wrong with dinosaur?" Piers Morgan asked. "But apparently it might rile creationists. Of course. Silly of me. Then there's Halloween, because of course that's a Pagan holiday. Can't be dealing with those, can we. Birthday is out because Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate birthdays. Really?"

Then there is the big D's: Death, disease and divorce.

And even stranger "no politics, no rap music, no religion, no rock 'n' roll, which frankly means I could say absolutely nothing if the same rules applied to this show."

It is understood that certain words are hateful and hurtful. They most certainly have no place in schools or tests but Piers had this advice for the New York City Department of Education:

"When it comes to the words on this list, perhaps the New York City Department of Education should go back to the wise old children's rhyme, 'sticks and stones can break my bones, but silly words will never hurt me.'"

-–
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  1. however

    Noticed "Witchcraft, sorcery, etc." last on the alphabetical list of banned words and phrases. Does that mean any or all "Harry Potter" books will be removed from a teacher's classroom library, or even from the school library? If so, some students may feel disappointed, but some adults may feel empowered.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • however

      Sorry – now I see that the ban is only for standardized tests. It is not about everyday interaction with students.
      I don't think you can stop most second grade students from thinking, reading, and asking questions about dinosaurs, fossils, and prehistoric life. No need to bring Harry Potter into a standardized test! And, hopefully, the history of slavery and our country is taught in the upper grades even if it is not on the State Test. I don't think the terms Voting Rights Act,
      Jim Crow Laws, etc. were banned. Carry on!

      March 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Jeannius

        yes...this is for 'tests'..but it's a step in the wrong direction.......there are states in the south that already want to remove the teaching of evolution from schools.....it's like taking the path to the "Dark Side", once you head down that path, it just gets you in deeper and deeper, and before you know it, they will expand those bans to include Harry Potter, or Hunger Games, or many other things. I remember years ago, how The Mark Twain Elementary School in Virginia banned "Huck Finn" because of the controversial language in it.....but it's a story which has to be taken in the context of the time, no matter whether words are controversial or offensive. Machiavelli wrote a book called The Prince....the basic theme was, if you ignore the past, you are doomed to repeat it. I would say you could generalize it to "If you ban words and ideas, they are going to come back and trip you up in the long run"....

        If it had been a matter of questions on a test which would have been culturally biased and could have affected the child's score, that would be one thing...but banning words like dinosaurs? They're just contributing to the lack of tolerance that is already all to prevalent.

        March 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • ishiibrad

        Not YET!

        March 30, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Alfred Marquez

    Jehovah's Witnesses will view this as an act of God...

    March 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jssbus

      As a Jehovah's Witness I really don't care if you celebrate your birthday. Go right ahead and use the word, all we ask is that you excuse our children if they ask from any observances that they feel violates their religious beliefs. We do not get involved with trying to change the standards for all.

      March 30, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • george

        Their religious beliefs? did they choose it then? Beliefs you force upon them!! Stop destroying childs minds and their ability to choose their own path!

        March 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alexis Klatt

        Now that's an excellent reply! From any religious persuasion, or from no religion at all.

        March 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • JB

        interesting that george latched on to the word belief. Why? if you believe something, it is a belief, no matter what that is based on. Whether you are taught it, or you come to that conclusion on your own, it is a belief. You assume things that are not true. Our beliefs are based on scripture, if you would like to know why, ask one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Don't get your information from someone who does not have all the facts.

        June 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isaacs mom

      "Act of God" seriously... thats just silly,, as silly as banning words!

      May 14, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
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      May 23, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. pat

    what a crock ! and thats being "politically correct" all these people that dont have a life should think about getting one and leave our kids ALONE theyre goin to here ALL OF THESE WORDS sooner or later might as well be in school where TEACHER CAN DO THEIR JOB ! ! ! Just another BS LAWSUIT waiting to happen ! And all you that are for this.... go find your own wee country to screw up and leave the UNITED STATES ALONE ! ! ! !

    March 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jack Offe

    Pears please go back Britannia . You are clueless and better suited to reporting on the royals.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • nancy

      well pears i wont be watching you anymore you just made that fool make a mockery of travon martin what a shame you just as clueless as your guest

      March 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Deuce

      Where is that coming from? England (not Britania, we are not Rome right now) is just as advanced as America is. Furthermore, you say that he is better suited reporting to the royals? Well of course, you would say that, pro-American hypocrite that you are, except he clearly isn't a government official, which means that you would be elevating his position. Also, it has been agreed that though England is using a rather old method of government, so are we. America has used the same government for about 300 years now. It would seem that according to your insulting view of Brits, you would be better suited for working under "Royals", as you call them, though really, that's not how their government works at all, you sad, clueless human.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Deuce

        Also, you are a total racist.

        March 30, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jack Offe

    Please,please, please go home. Pears you are soooooo stupid. Geo Zimmerman brother just took you the woodshed. You tried to Oreily him, it did not work.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • thewordofsusieq

      Why can't anyone spell "Piers" Morgan correctly? Did you miss out on reading about him. Or do you think he was named after a fruit? [pear]???

      March 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. John Flynn

    All I really heard from Mike was, "I don't know", Does he have an opinion or is he truly hurting! I don't know.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. B

    America is getting more and more stupid as time progresses. No wonder other countries laugh at us.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jack Offe

    I am a moron who doesn't have the faintist idea what i'm talking about – please feel free to insult me!

    March 30, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
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      June 28, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guido

      ref your comment no bunsiess switches their phone off Where did you pick up that golden snippet? The phone, albeit a great tool, is also a massive distraction. Why would I want to waste my valuable time talking to a single person on the phone, especially if they can find the information they need by visiting my Web site, or going to google and doing a quick search.Sure, i love talking to my family etc. Personal clients come later and sessions are planned. Answering the phone, just because it rings no thanks.Mark

      June 30, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Steve Miller

    What almost everyone has missed is that these words are not used on the test – it has nothing to do with whether they are used in the classroom and there is no call to not discuss the concepts. Avoiding "emotionally loaded" words on a test is done because actual research (real statistical analysis – scientific and all) shows that using these words in questions skews the results. The questions do not correctly test what they are intended to test.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
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  10. gregster

    This so sounds like something that fool Roy Blunt would do. Keep them dumb and don't let them have medical care is Roy's motto.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Butch

    Alright! Time for a new universal language, to include every citizen of Earth.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. OLD GREYWOLF

    AH YES, BAN THESE 'BAD' WORDS FROM THE STANDARD TESTS, THEN THEY WILL BE REMOVED FROM TEXT BOOKS, AND FINIALLY FROM CLASSROOM VOCABULARY. SEE HOW QUICKLY WE CAN DUMB DOWN OUR CHILDREN TO BE EMPTY HEADED ROBOTS. THERE ARE NO 'BAD' WORDS ONLY HOW WE USE THEM.

    March 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. puresophistry

    This proposal is shameful and is designed to fail utterly. We at Pure Sophistry took the issue to tackle the broader argument of offensive materials in the classroom (like editing Huckleberry Finn) and have created a poll so we can all vote on how to handle such materials. Hope the discussion continues!

    http://puresophistry.com/2012/03/31/the-city-of-new-york-creates-a-list-of-banned-words/

    April 1, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
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      June 27, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Undaunted Danny

    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

    April 1, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Lauren

    How does this teach tolerance? It only teaches ignorance. A huge step in the wrong direction. Children should be taught to understand each other and be capable of learing different points of view. Banning words or ideas behind these words closes in these children and limits their success in the real world!!

    April 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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      June 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Andre

    At least it's not as bad as BANNING BEST FRIENDS in EUROPE

    April 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Ric

    Ah yes, out come the JW haters. What a rabid bunch. Don't you see that you are the reason political correctness came into existence. This wasn't about someone's religious choices it was about some academic going overboard with politcal correctness. An over reaction to your bigotry.
    have a nice day

    May 7, 2012 at 5:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
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  19. JB

    As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I have no issues with the words birthday, Halloween, etc. I personally do not believe in them, but I also am not offended when they appear. I agree, that someone chose to include that because they THOUGHT we would be offended, but we are not. Clearly, those of you who are making these blanket statements about Jehovah's Witnesses have never spoken to one.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
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