Foxnews.com readers had plenty to say about political correctness in response to Scott Norvell’s Tongue Tied column.
The column discussed PC-inspired changes across the nation, including the portrayal of historic events in classrooms; the pacification of children’s fairytales; and the New York State Education Department’s decision to alter prose in the English Regents exam to "satisfy elaborate ‘sensitivity review guidelines.’"
Steven Milloy’s Junk Science column asserting that World Trade Center rescuers were not exposed to toxics angered some readers but intrigued others. Readers were quite supportive of Glenn Harlan Reynolds Straight Talk view that high school was a waste of time.
Here’s a sample of this week's mail:
Juanita Curtis of Albany, Ky.:
In reference to your story about the three little pigs… No wonder there is so much violence in the world. Except for the few who refuse to be enslaved by political correctness and try to warn and teach the next generation, our children can't recognize the "Big Bad Wolf."
Michael Price of Houston, Texas:
It's utterly amazing that my children are taught in school from day one to respect the heritage of so many different cultures and then are told it's a bad thing to take any pride in their own. Is it any wonder children seem so confused these days?
Sharron Swanberg of Branson, Mo.:
It is utterly ridiculous to try to re-write The Brothers Grimm, Shakespeare or anyone else for that matter. If the material is offensive to you close the cover; if the movie offends, don't go; if the TV offends hit the off button; if you want to pray, no one can stop you.
If you try to take all of the "offensiveness" out of everything, you will end up offending someone who wanted to read the original. It is also important to see where we have been to make decisions on where we are going. We learn the most and the fastest through our mistakes. If we remove and change all of our history, we will doom ourselves to repeat the same mistakes. Let our history and literature stand as is.
Ray B. of Omaha, Neb.:
Why are the school administrators toning down the historical facts about such things as the battle of the Alamo? If they are trying not to offend the Mexican-born students they should build it up! If I remember my history correctly, didn't the Mexican army win that battle? This is a true case of PC gone too far. I wish school administrators would try to get instructors to just teach history, English, math, etc., the way it is, not the way they think it will be less offending.
Paige Watts of Madison, Wisc.:
It seems pretty stupid to have an entire test based on several pieces of literature that are considered unfit in the first place. If these writings are so offensive, just pick some other works that aren't and save everyone's time!
K.M. Fallis of Coronado, Calif.:
We all have opinions. There is a great danger in allowing soft-thinking PC Nazis to quell our rights. If we allow these wolves to tell us how to conduct ourselves, we deserve to be herded into oblivion like lambs to the slaughter. The "Big Bad Wolf" — government bureaucrats, unqualified liberal school teachers and all other race or gender posturing organizations — wants us to think like it, act like it and perpetuate its numbing, uninformed rhetoric. I'd rather be the pig who's "chowing" on the wolf rather than a politically correct zombie fooled by the wolf in P.C. clothing.
Matt Schultz of Windsor, Wisc.:
Regarding the morons at the New York State Education Department: Wouldn't it have made more sense to find passages for this test from other sources that were less "offensive" than to spend time editing the ones they found offensive? Political correctness lives! Big Brother's power is growing.
Michael Stratton of Keller, Texas:
The piece on the Houston school district that describes how it is playing down the Alamo to avoid disturbing Hispanic students was pure PC. What’s next? Play down the attack on Pearl Harbor to avoid disturbing the Japanese? the Holocaust to avoid disturbing Germans? Sept. 11 to ensure Muslims aren't offended? Whatever happened to teaching history the way it actually happened?
Thank you for writing such an ACCURATE article [about teen sex]. I see the kind of behavior and responses that you described. Your suggestions are exactly what teens need; respect and responsibility will produce far more good people and far less "teens." Too many adolescents use drinking and sex as ways to gain recognition. Your suggestions would promote the positive recognition needed by so many.
This subject needs wider circulation and study. You're right, of course. I'm a fifth-grade ESL teacher and I always tell my self-contained class that childhood is preparation time for adulthood. Childhood is not a time to simply be irresponsible and have fun. When children spend these years in serious preparation for adulthood (with adequate time for fun and relaxation), they become happier and more successful adults.
Think about it — Are more years spent in childhood or adulthood? I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to be employed during my teen years, and I'm equally grateful to have the opportunity to be employed now. Your observation of the media/business connection in perpetuating the teen welfare situation is interesting. What can we do to reverse this trend? Spread the word, save the kids!
Thank you for writing such a wonderful article on the "infantilization" of teens (and others!). I hope that it is picked up by many sources and that the article reaches all corners of our country! It's "straight talk" like yours that our people need to hear; the stuff that makes perfect sense and follows clear logic; the truth that can help us avoid future "Columbines" and other tragic losses. Please continue to spread the word on this subject; it's but one piece of the puzzle we must complete in order to correct some of the ills!
K. Thrift of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
If the WTC rescuers were not exposed to enough asbestos after the collapse of two skyscrapers to become a health problem, then how much LESS exposure is there due to asbestos being in the walls of intact buildings? Why do these structures have to be gutted/torn down at a tremendous cost when [asbestos is] found? Surely there's a lawsuit in there somewhere. Certainly some junk science.
C. Lesondak of Redding, Calif.:
Rescue workers assume the potential risk when they accept the job. I'm sick and tired of all the public trough people and their "prima donna" law suits. They are nothing but glorified welfare recipients. Only the public trough would pay someone disability for the rest of their life for just doing their job. What makes them so special? Where in this world of free enterprise would I get such a deal? If they can't do their assigned job, give them a job they can do and cut their pay as needed. I bet their health would improve dramatically and immediately.
I guess we can't expect anything better when we have a society that measures accomplishment based upon how much you've been victimized. What a bunch of wimps. Our parents and grandparents would be ashamed.
In your article, you stated that a jury would give a monetary reward to the Sept. 11 heroes if they sued. I don't really think so. When I first heard of the lawsuits by the workers at the World Trade Center, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing diminishes a hero's status faster then a complaint coming from their mouths. Heroes are supposed to be humble! Look what happened to the families of the victims — the nation turned against them.