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Ban On 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' Among Kinders For Political Correctness.

The word "black" in the nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep is derogatory and racial for its allusion to black people-an implication that can be derived from the decision of staff at childcare centres in the Southeastern suburbs to change the lyric of the song. Also, a childcare centre in Melbourne mulls alteration to the line "one for the little boy who lives down the lane" for sexist insinuation, the Herald Sun reports.

The decision sparked unwanted reaction from parents saying the desire for political correctness was overblown. One parent said the rhyme is in no way alluding to a race. Another parent, who said he had black skin, said the issue is becoming a joke. While one parent pointed out there are black sheep and there are white sheep, the decision is like banning the use of the colour black.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, Celine Pieterse, co-ordinator of Malvern East's Central Park Child Care, said it will be more appropriate to introduce a variety of the sheep instead of banning the term "black." The term denotes the colour of the sheep and nothing else, Belli Spanos, owner of Bubbles Pre-School, told (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/racial-connotations-over-black-sheep-prompts-changes-to-baa-baa-black-sheep-at-victorian-kinders/story-fni0fit3-1227093091674) the Herald Sun .

The song's political correctness has actually been a long running issue. Back in 2000, a school council inspector in Birmingham City had told schools in the region not to teach the song anymore. The inspector said the song is filled with all the negative connotations like being the "black sheep of the family." The inspector also underlined the negative history behind the song, saying it originated back in the time of slavery. "The rhyme has colonial links: 'Three bags full' refers to the three bags of wool which the slaves were told to collect and 'yes sir, yes sir' is how the slaves would reply to the slave masters when told to do a task," the inspector was quoted saying.

The Birmingham City Council ruled otherwise, scrapping the advice. Parents had appealed the advice was ridiculous. The song had since been taught as is.

In June 2013, a Sydney music school made a revision of the song "Rain! Rain!" in order to promote water conservation among children. VIP Music changed the lyrics from "rain, rain, go away!" to "rain, rain, come again! We need more rain every day." Nursery rhymes do not have to maintain its traditional lyrics, VIP music teacher (http://bannedbooks.world.edu/2013/06/30/banned-books-awareness-banned-nursery-rhymes/) Leeda Koh said .

In 2011, the City of York Council banned children from making the diamond gesture with their fingers while singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Apparently, the gesture suggests the female genitalia among the deaf children and parents. The ban was put into effect to avoid offending deaf children and parents, a representative for the City of York Council told (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8960584/Toddlers-banned-from-making-rude-star-sign.html) The Telegraph .

An unnamed Montessori school had reportedly removed the terms "Santa," "carols" and "gay" and all allusion to Christianity from nursery rhymes and replaced it with phrases the school deemed more appropriate. The same goes for the Humpty Dumpty of which the ending was changed from "couldn't put Humpty together again" to "made Humpty happy again" to make the song more positive as compared to its depressing (http://bannedbooks.world.edu/2013/06/30/banned-books-awareness-banned-nursery-rhymes/) original ending .
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Oct 17, 2014
Words:564
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