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Posted at 9:33 AM ET, 11/ 5/2009

Is your child's school 'politically correct'?

By Valerie Strauss

The Post story about the high school football player benched because he twice bumped his chest to celebrate successful plays drew a lot of comments calling the ref’s decision part of a “politically correct” climate pervasive in our schools.

For example, one reader, whwhirlwind81, wrote:
“This is really dumb! I can see taunting an opponent, that is unsportsmanlike, but celebrating a TD? Even too PC for this liberal!”

Let’s talk about political correctness. How is it manifested in your children’s schools? How much do you think it drives the academic and non-academic climate at schools today?

By Valerie Strauss  | November 5, 2009; 9:33 AM ET
Tags:  political correctness  
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Let's talk about being "PC"...It has taken away our free speech! It's no longer simply about being polite, respectful, etc. It's now about what we can say/do and what we can't. It is in the schools and all aspects of our society. Sometimes if seems that if you simply have a different opinion on a topic you are being "un-PC". It has gotten to the point that discussions/debates of issues cannot happen in a healthy respectful setting because something might be said that might offend someone and really it's just a different opinion. It's very sad that something like a high 5 or a celebratory jump could ever be seen as "un-PC". Pretty soon sneezing will be "un-PC" and offending.

Posted by: valerie11 | November 5, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The worst manifestation of political correctness in the schools is the idea of holding teachers exclusively responsible for the success of their students. The students and their families are never held responsible for the ultimate outcome for the students. This is most evident in the case of the schools in the District of Columbia. Michell Rhee is hiring and firing teachers like they are assembly line workers turning out widgets. She never has the courage to address the socio economic problems in the District that plague her students, and that account for much of the failure of the D.C. school system. No that would be branded racism, or sexism, or socio-economicism. Much easier to use the teachers as fall guys, and treat them like corporate drones. Pay for performance in the schools treats students like they are mechanical products to be assembled by industrial methods. Political correctness runs awry throughout the school systems, starting at the top.

Posted by: captn_ahab | November 6, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

It's so very disheartening to see the pejorative term "political correctness" mis-applied to issues of basic civility.

There is nothing "political" about trying to teach our already all-too-thuggish kids about sportsmanship. Sadly, that's a losing battle, as a preponderance of parents no longer understand the basics of civil behavior.

Posted by: DupontJay | November 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe this is being shown as political correctness. There's a new rule against touchdown demonstrations because they were getting too elaborate and lengthening the game. All TD demonstrations were banned by the rule.

Nothing politically correct about it. Someone enforced the rule. It was new. I imagine the kid probably forgot about the change.

I don't fault the coach for enforcing it.

How someone decided something was "politically correct" based on this baffles me.

Posted by: Fabrisse | November 6, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Making the personal choice not to let my kids grow up as wussified pansies, I have opted to home-school them.

This nation needs leaders not scared to believe in our founding fathers ideals. We need leaders not afraid to speak and hold to the truth, no matter what.

Backbone is something severely lacking in the world today. Something I am doing my part to rectify.

Posted by: ProveMeWrong | November 6, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"wussified pansies"? Wow, ProveMeWrong. Your comments say ... so much. Just wow.

Posted by: Serengeti | November 6, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse


Thank you for standing in as a perfect example of what my kids will NOT become.

Sheltering kids from the realities of this world is tantamount to child abuse when they meet or have to deal with someone OUTSIDE this nation.

If they cant handle being called a name or cant handle hearing someone call a spade a spade, then how do you expect them to deal with foreign leaders and citizens of those nations?

If you cant mean what you say and say what you mean, you should look into a career in politics... Before Americans standards are raised and demand that you actually DO something for a change.

If you feel yourself getting red-faced at me for my response, you are also a pansey-a$$ed wussy who needs to grow up.

Stick and Stones... and all that... remember? Words to live bye.

Posted by: ProveMeWrong | November 6, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse


I'm confused as to how your original comment relates to the questions posed? Do you home school as a reaction against touchdown celebrations or in support of them? If the latter, do you teach your kids celebrations that taunt opponents or do you actually taunt them yourself?

I'm also confused by Serengeti's response, since I'm not sure what you actually meant in the first place -- which group is wussified?

Posted by: teamn | November 6, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess the train has left the station, or the horse has left the barn, on this one, but I hate using the phrase political correctness or PC for this kind of discussion. (I totally agree the guy should be allowed to chest-bump away, by the way.) Here's why.

I have the impression, but feel free to set me straight, that Rush Limbaugh coined the phrase "political correctness" as a way of criticizing, well, just about anything he wanted to sweep into that category. It was a way of mocking people who objected to genuinely racist, sexist, homophobic, or other bigoted speech--and then lumping them in with obviously silly, over-the-top, faux sensitivity like this example. This was clever because it pulled out the rug from under legitimate complaints about hate speech.

In then-candidate Obama's race speech in Philadelphia, a very undercovered paragraph said this (shortened for space):

"Like the anger within the black community, these resentments [within the white community] aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation... Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism."

That's why I don't like the term "political correctness." Let's call it poor judgment, stupidity, or exaggerated fake sensitivity, or whatever describes it accurately, but let's not Limbaugh it up with a term like "political correctness."

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | November 6, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

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