Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 11/ 9/2009

What, exactly, is political correctness in schools?

By Valerie Strauss

Last week I asked you to talk about political correctness at your children’s schools.

That stemmed from a story in The Post about a high school football player who was benched because he twice bumped chests to celebrate successful plays. The benching was derided by some as part of a “politically correct” climate pervasive in our schools.

Some of you disagreed with the notion that the ref was being politically correct:

DupontJay wrote:“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.”

Fabrisse wrote:
“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."

It seems to me these readers are on the right track about this incident.

Let's continue the discussion about your views on political correctness in education. Do you have more examples of how you think political correctness is displayed at your child’s school, for better or worse? Is political correctness real, or is it a myth? (Here's an interesting take on that thought.

Halloween just passed, with many schools restricting what kids could and couldn't wear--nothing that had a fake weapon or made fun of anybody's gender or race. Some schools have substituted fall festivals for Halloween parties because, apparently, some religions view Halloween as linked to paganism.

Now, with, Christmas approaching, we are bound to hear complaints that schools are being “politically correct” by refusing to let kids sing Christmas carols or have Christmas pageants. Instead, they have “winter festivals.”

Is this a sign of political correctness or of sensitivity to all religions? What else do you see at your child's school that makes you wonder?

By Valerie Strauss  | November 9, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Tags:  political correctness  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sesame Street is turning 40--and still NOT for the very young
Next: The rush to hold kids back – does it make sense?


We've been involved with 2 MCPS elementary schools. The first never had any Christmas or holiday anything. The second elementary school does a holiday sing-a-long on the last day before winter break. It's led by the chorus and they sing the secular Christmas songs, not the church hymns, as well as Hanukah and Kwanza songs. No one complains. It's an opportunity to share and learn about different cultures and traditions.

As for non-religious people who are offended by any mention of anything Christian, especially Christmas, I sure hope that they treat Dec 24th and 25th just like any other day. And as for Christians who feel Halloween is can argue that numerous Christian elements have pagan roots.

Posted by: valerie11 | November 9, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

As an educator, I have noticed that parents care WAY more about being political correct than the kids. Most kids could care less about who celebrates what and why. They see Halloween as an oppurtunity to get candy, not celebrate dead souls. They see Christmas as the time to get stuff and be out of school, not celebrate the birth of Jesus. They associate Easter with the Bunny and candy, not a crucifixion.
If parents are that concerned about their kids being "exposed" to other ways of life, then send them to private school.

Posted by: zeptattoo | November 9, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company