That’s because they fear such topics “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.”
Dinosaurs, for example, call to mind evolution, which might upset fundamentalists; birthdays aren’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses; and Halloween suggests paganism.
Even “dancing’’ is taboo, because some sects object. But the city did make an exception for ballet. [...]
Words that suggest wealth are excluded because they could make kids jealous. Poverty is likewise on the forbidden list.
Also banned are references to divorces and diseases, because kids taking the tests may have relatives who split from spouses or are ill.
Officials say such exclusions are normal procedure.
Yoav Gonen of The New York Post has the story: LinkEdit 3/28/12: CBS New York has the complete list of the banned words.