New York state has disbanded the Sensitivity Review Committee which used to police standardized tests for anything that could offend or trouble anyone but the practice of sanitizing the tests continues unabated, [u]reports the Journal News[/u].
Dogs can't be mentioned on the tests because they might offend Muslim students, the paper says, and birthdays are verboten because they are not observed by some religions. Also forbidden are Halloween costumes, pumpkins and anything that smacks of the occult.
Even the perennially favorite topic of dinosaurs is off-limits for fear that they might offend the sensitivities of Christian children who donít believe in evolution.
A spokesman for Harcourt publishers, one of the testing services, says "testing is a stressful enough experience for kids. We want to make sure there is nothing that would cause the child to stumble."