Amherst Regional High School will stop using the term "freshman" to refer to ninth-grade students because the term is not inclusive enough for some members of the faculty there, according to the Concord Monitor.

Students in ninth grade will now be referred to as ... wait for it ..."ninth-graders" in all official documents and morning announcements.

ARHS Assistant Principal Marta Guevara, who pushed for the change, said the decision to move away from "freshman" came about after a production of the The Vagina Monologues two years ago.

Guevara said the school wants to make students "aware of the possible misogynistic, oppressive or non-inclusive language."

Good Question

A high school paper has refused to run an ad from a local Korean-owned restaurant because it says imagery used in it promotes stereotypes and puts a minority group in a bad light, reports the Oregonian.

John Lee, owner of the Hawaiian Grill restaurant in Cedar Mill, Ore., uses an illustration of an Asian man in his ads because it resembles himself. Administrators at Sunset High, however, say it is offensive.

Lee, who immigrated from Korea at age 10, says he has been using his logo on signs and menus for years with no complaint.

"I'm Asian American, so why would I want to make fun of Asians?" he said. "Why are we pushing the racial issue to the farthest extent?"

Chilling

A Colorado State University student group is under fire for using an image of a person hanging from a tree in a flier advertising a political forum, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

The Collegiate Farm Bureau advertised a forum upcoming on ballot measures that would impact higher education funding. Above the offensive image were the words: "Does CSU's Future Hang on Refs C and D?"

Some on campus said the image too closely resembled a racially motivated lynching, and CSU President Larry Penley issued a campus-wide e-mail denouncing it as chilling and offensive. He said action may be taken against the group's faculty adviser.

Members of the group said the flier was designed with Halloween in mind. "At this time of year, you see skeletons all over in peoples' yards," one said. "It just didn't dawn on any of us. We just didn't see the harm in it."

Mark Your Calendars

Supporters of Transgender rights will kick off what's being described as the first "Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color Job and Education Fair" in New York in December, according to Reuters.

At least 10 companies already have signed up for the fair, organizers said, and as many as 25 might show up. One of the main things on the agenda, they say, is that pesky male-female that unfairly dominates public discourse in America.

Damien Domenack, a landscaper, says society's "two-gender system" poses a problem in everything from job applications to drivers' licenses to health-insurance forms. He wants a third option, to describe gender preference.

"We're limited to two boxes, male and female," said Domenack, 24, who was born female and calls herself a "transman." "There's just two options, and I can't put my true identity."

Pig Trauma

The Miami Herald reports that students at a Florida law school are being urged to shun a pig-kissing fundraiser because the event violates the pig's rights.

The Nova Southeastern University chapter of the national law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta says that it will hold it's fifth annual "Kiss the Pig Charitable Fundraiser" despite complaints from the school's dean, professors and an animal-rights student group that it "traumatizes" the pig in question.

For the fundraiser, professors are given a piggy bank and students donate money. The one who collects the most money has to kiss a pig from a local petting farm. Money from the fundraiser goes to the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.

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

Mailbag:

Jim in Kansas City writes:

The name of White Settlement Texas is racist? Then what are we to do with White City NM, or White City Oregon, or White City Utah? And what about Brownville Texas, Maine and Nebraska. There are probably dozens more, not to mention Redville Wisconsin or Blackville S.C., and Nebraska.

If we pursue this silliness, how soon before there are so few non-offensive words left that we can't communicate or name anything?

James F. writes:

"Business casual" as defined by the NBA corresponds to business casual dress as defined by 99 percent of businesses in the U.S. Employees for businesses are required to dress in a manner consistent with policy while on company business at no extra compensation. If the employee doesn't want to adhere to the policy, he or she may quit.

Mr. Iverson, the NBA does pay for your clothes....that would be your basketball uniform. The league has the right to establish its image in the eyes of the public and one of the tools of that image is a dress code. If a player doesn't like the dress code, he or she (assuming the WNBA has also adopted this policy) may quit.

Mr. Richardson, this rule applies to all NBA players; race, color, creed, nationality, religious affiliation, hair style, pet preference, favorite flavor of ice cream notwithstanding. It is therefore not a racist policy. Michael Jordan always dressed himself with class.

Maybe the league should hire him to train the children, er, players how to dress.

Mel M. writes:

I just wanted to make a correction about the Hylton High School "Devil Went Down to Georgia" drama. I heard the letter in question read on the radio, and the writer was in no way complaining. He simply wrote in to state how ironic it is that all forms of the word "God" are being obliterated from public life--whether it be forbidding students to read a Bible during school hours or removing 'under God' from the pledge--however no one batted an eye when the band director chose to play that particular Charlie Daniels song.

No one wanted to have the song pulled, it was simply the case of the band director being too over-sensitive.

Pat B. corrects us:

"Northwest Indiana's Times reports that a group of parents at an elementary school are upset because the school allowed a local Muslim family to give a presentation about their traditions during Ramadan."

Should be "....is upset."

Geoff M. writes:

Everytime I read about the PC nonsense occuring in other countries I feel reassured. Most often I am dismayed to think that only in the U.S. do the thought police exert their self-righteous rule and that we are out of step, except for the Taliban. But periodically, I am bouyed by reports of the same idiocy existing in other countries. The Hull council's "list" has given me the security of international conformity to the doctrine's of Orwell's "1984".

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