A suburban Chicago resident is so outraged by an image on the cover of her town's anniversary brochure that she wants the city to spend $34,000 to reprint it and include an apology in the new version, reports the Beacon News.

Naperville resident Sherid Smith is angry with one of the eight photos on the cover of the magazine. It shows a little girl at the town's Civil War Days celebration holding an American flag — and wearing a hat with a Confederate flag. Smith said use of the image was insensitive on the city's part. She called it "divisive," and wants the guide reprinted with a letter inside the brochure explaining the reason why.

School Daze

The BBC says a school in Scotland has changed the letter-system it uses to designate separate classes because it made some of the students feel inferior. Bonnyrigg Primary School was calling its classes 1a and 1b until some parents complained that the kids in 1b felt second-best by the label. The classes will now be known as 1ar and 1ap, incorporating the teachers' last names in the new titles.

Weather Girl

A member of Canada's legislative assembly has been labeled a sexist for using the phrase "weather girl" in a derogatory manner, reports the CBC. Tory Margaret Ann Blaney accused fellow pol Mike Murphy of using the term disrespectfully during a discussion about the budget.

"He was talking about the budget," Blaney said. "He said, 'I want the minister to tell me what proof he has from any district engineer,' very professional term, 'any departmental official,' again, professional in approach, 'any climatologist' professional 'or any weather girl,' " she said, recalling Murphy's comments.

"You know, we've moved on to the 21st century. I thought it was derogatory and I thought it was inappropriate and I thought it was the kind of language we shouldn't be employing in the house."

Can't Win

A California school district's decision to dump its Indian mascot in favor of a medieval knight is prompting howls of protest that the new mascot is insensitive to women and too warlike, according to the Lake County Record Bee.

The Kelseyville Unified School District formally ditched its high school's 85-year-old Indian in favor of the Knight in March. Since then, however, people have written to the local paper complaining that the new mascot is, among other things, a "step backwards in women's sports."

"What will the illustrious female athletes of Kelseyville High School be called? Maidens? Ladies of the Knights? The Damsels?" writes one reader. "What kind of message are you sending your daughters by ignoring their participation and accomplishments, by omitting them from the school's identity?"

Another complained that the district had "taken a prideful picture of a nonaggressive nature of a true American and replaced it with a picture of an aggressive French Knight ... a slave owner who put people to death by the thousands for not being on the same page he was religiously in the Crusades. He and his kind were among the world's most brutal and subversive groups to have ever held control over a group of people."

Gender-Neutral Play Materials

Public schools in an Australian state are being urged to stop using the terms "mother" and "father" in class discussions out of deference to same-sex couples, reports the Herald-Sun.

A new manual for teachers in Victoria says teachers should use the terms "parent" or "carer" instead. They are also urged to put up posters of gay celebrities in schools, avoid "gender-neutral play materials" and get students as young as five to act out scenarios in which they have two mums and have discussions about discrimination.

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head over to the Tongue Tied Daily edition.

Mailbag:

Frank L. writes:

Taking our French class students to see the movie Da Vinci Code in order to soak in Parisian culture, milieu, dialect and atmosphere makes about as much sense as watching Rocky to discover more about Philadelphia. With or without parents' permission, that was a stupid decision and a foolish waste of taxpayers' money and of our students' educational time.

Our beautiful Upper Peninsula has much more to offer than such a specifically biased and anti-Christian movie.

Click here to read last week's Tongue Tied.

Ed R. writes:

So what if the "Da Vinci Code" movie is perceived as anti-Christianity? Christianity itself is clearly "anti" every other religion as well as anti-agnostic and anti-atheist, but you don't hear those other groups (except the Muslims and Scientologists) whining about it.

I figure that any religion that is so insecure and defensive that they have to complain about every perceived deviation from church dogma and scripture, couldn't have much going for it in the way of credibility or the faith of its believers. And if the Christian hierarchy is worried that their poor gullible followers might conceivably believe the "Da Vinci Code" version of the Christ story, even after years of indoctrination, then perhaps a credibility gap already existed in their beliefs.

Kate L. wonders:

Exactly what is the correlation between individualism and racism? How does planning for the future make one a racist? Are these qualities only thought of in "white" terms? This seems like very flawed logic.

In our parents and grandparents times, individualism and planning for the future were attributes that were aspired to...a sign of maturity and freedom to follow your dreams. Aren't these a couple of the reasons for the War of Independence? Isn't that what the freed slaves wanted after the Civil War? The problem is that there are no guarantees. You may plan for the future but that doesn't mean you'll get what you want...life isn't fair and it takes time.

Kate S. in Toronto writes:

I don't advise anybody to refer to Canadians as "Americans" — no matter what continent we share. You're liable to get a hockey stick across the back of your head if you so much as suggest that They are Us. The most deadly insult you can offer a Canadian is to mistake him or her for an American. Trust me, you want to forget this multi-culti idea tout suite.

Chuck D. writes:

I have to agree with the parents from Michigan who do not believe the Da Vinci Code is appropriate for a public school movie. The Da Vinci Code is not "just a movie." The author has tried to sell this blasphemy as being based on valid research. As such, he is peddling religion.

In fact, the author is promoting a Christian bashing lie which ought to be discussed in film ethics classes, only. Furthermore, it seems an awful stretch to believe that the time spent by these students to attend this movie is somehow validated by attending a French class.

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