It’s hard to tell anymore whether a story is true or fake. For example, Tommaso De Benedetti impersonated well known world figures to announce the deaths of Pope Benedict, Fidel Castro and Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar. Benedetti said he perpetuated the hoax to show how gullible and weak the media are.

The media may be weak and gullible because they are graduates of New York City schools. When I first heard that more than 50 “loaded-words” were being banned from tests, I thought it was a joke. I’ve since learned that it’s not. I shouldn’t be surprised about anything done in government schools these days. The more ridiculous something sounds, the more it’s likely to be true.

The story of the banned words goes like this:

Divorce. Dinosaurs, Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. These are a few of the 50-plus words and references the New York City Department of Education is hoping to ban from the city’s standardized tests.

As the story got out, one of the arguments about the banned list is that it’s been going on for some time. This is the fifth year for such a list in New York. It’s being done elsewhere as well. California avoids the use of the word “weed” on tests and Florida avoids phrases that use the words “Hurricane” or “Wildfires.” We don’t want to traumatize the little darlings.

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