School officials in Lansing, N.Y., have halted an abstinence-based sex ed program because the focus on marriage was considered insensitive to kids from non-traditional families, reports the Ithaca Journal.

The Lansing Board of Education also has stopped using the Ithaca Pregnancy Center’s "I’m Worth Waiting For" program at its middle school because the group’s Christian affiliation was deemed inappropriate in a public school.

Apparently, what upset many parents was the way its message was wrapped around the pregnancy center's basic tenet of waiting for marriage.

Southern Discomfort

A Kentucky high school girl who wanted to wear a prom dress that incorporated the design of the Confederate flag was not even allowed to get out of her car much less actually go to the dance, reports Knight-Ridder newspapers.

Jacqueline Duty’s sequined gown, which she made herself, was deemed offensive by administrators at Russell High School in Lexington even before they saw it. They asked her not to wear it the night before the prom, but she had nothing else so she did so anyway and was shut out of her senior prom.

Duty is now suing the school district, saying it and its administrators violated her First Amendment right to free speech and her right to celebrate her heritage. She also is suing for defamation, false imprisonment and assault.

Problems in Pueblo

Archaeologists in Colorado are complaining that officials at Mesa Verde National Park have removed books from store shelves there merely because they contain the word "Anasazi," which has fallen out of favor with local indigenous groups, reports the Denver Post.

The Pecos Conference, an informal group of regional archaeologists, says books are being left out of park bookstores because they do not use the name "ancestral Puebloans," the term preferred by American Indian tribes in the area.

"Anasazi" was used widely for decades to describe natives in the Four Corners region but because the term is Navajo and may mean "ancient enemy" or "the others" it is disliked by the non-Navajo Pueblo people.

Removing Crosses from ... Chapels?

A columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that a hospital in that Minneapolis city has removed the cross from its onsite chapel lest it offend any non-Christians who amble into the room.

Regions Hospital has removed the cross from its chapel and placed it in the adjacent chaplain's office so no one will see it. Hospital spokesman Vince Rivard says they did it because the hospital doesn’t have a "religious affiliation" and doesn’t want to show favoritism.

Apparently, he says, it’s a growing trend in the hospital industry.

Can't Make This Stuff Up

A group of students at the University of Oregon staged a protest outside a showing of The Vagina Monologues claiming that the feminist work by Eve Ensler was not inclusive enough, reports the Daily Emerald.

About 10 women stood outside the theater where the play was showing, wearing shirts with the words "Vagina Warriors" on the back and messages like "Warning: Hostile Vagina" and "Not all vaginas are skinny, white + straight" on the front.

In a flyer handed out to audience members, graduate Nicole Sangsuree complained that women of "a variety of skin colors, body sizes, abilities and gender expressions" were not adequately represented in the show.

Last One

A New Hampshire junior high school student who tried to go to a school dance in a Santa suit was told he was not welcome because the dance was a "holiday" dance and not a "Christmas" dance, reports the Hampton Union.

Bryan Lafond was told by Principal Fred Muscara that he was not welcome at the Hampton Academy Junior High School dance because of concerns about the religious undertones of his costume.

"It was a holiday party," Muscara said. "It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that."

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.

Mailbag:

David M. writes:

Is the Kwanza holiday a sham because Karenga has human flaws or because Stephen G. believes that cultural celebrations must be grounded in scientifically verifiable fact?

It is truly a shame that descendents of slaves taken from all parts of the African continent do not know their language, their religions, their history, their ancestry or their heritage. On a continent of languages and dialects from which to choose, Swahili, the most widely spoken African language, may have been chosen simply as a matter of convenience. However, I don’t believe that invalidates the holiday.

Don’t forget that Bjarni Herjolfsson (986) and Lief Erikson (1000) both arrived in America hundreds of years before Columbus. Columbus didn’t get to America first, he landed in the Bahamas. But we still celebrate Columbus Day and I’m pretty sure that the real meaning of St. Patrick’s Day has nothing to do with Leprechauns, clovers or getting drunk in bars.

Karenga’s idea for a cultural holiday remains a good one, despite potential flaws in the man and the execution.

Robin R. writes:

I saw where NBC Nightly News anchor, Brian Williams is quoted as saying that "the country has more important things to worry about than the number of journalists of color." Why should anyone really be surprised by this quote? This is just another example of the utter arrogance and hypocrisy of the major news media. They preach to us all the time about the need for inclusion in all areas of professional and personal life. Yet they exempt themselves from the same requirements they so glibly spew forth on us.

Cybele H. writes:

I highly doubt that if Sen. Reid had criticized Justice Scalia and praised Justice Thomas it would have been construed as racist and unfair. Since when do we have to apologize for stating an opinion? Isn’t that what our country is all about? Seems to me liberals love the freedom of speech so long as they agree with what is being said. Otherwise, they are out demanding apologies and filing lawsuits. Don’t you ever get tired of it all?

Jay T. writes:

Perhaps the use of the term "colored officers," rather than "officers of color," at the Minneapolis Police Department was the result of bad judgment. Then again, perhaps the NAACP ("National Association for the Advancement of Colored People") should consider a name change. After all, "this isn't the '60's anymore!"

Michael S. writes:

For Steve R. who implies that Canada is looking forward to an influx of disenfranchised Democrats: There are many, many pro-American conservative Canadians who are quite dismayed by our current government's actions. Please send your lefties to California or France.

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