Michigan Teacher Suspended For Letting Student Play Pro-Gay Song
In today's SMH news, a Michigan teacher has been suspended for three days, two of which are without pay, after she let a student play a rap song about being gay in her performing arts class. The song in question, Mackelmore's "Same Love," details the journey of a gay man as he comes out, falls in love, and deals with bullying and harassment. Johnson felt the song spoke to current issues and decided to play it in her class.
"This is one of the things in my school that we're trying to practice," Johnson told Fox 2, "and we're trying to instill in our students — is tolerance to diversity, and also [against] bullying." But another student in Johnson's class was offended by the message of the song, and complained to school administrators. Centennial Middle School officials wouldn't speak on the record, but Johnson offered paperwork she says the district gave her explaining her suspension. That paperwork claims the song had controversial content, including homosexuality, religion, political views, and a sexual slur. The song does use the word "faggot," but only in the context of calling out passive reactions to hate speech. "If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me," sings Macklemore. "Have you read the YouTube comments lately? / 'Man, that's gay,' gets dropped on the daily / We become so numb to what we're saying / A culture founded from oppression / Yeah we don't have acceptance for him? / Call each other 'faggot' behind the keys of a message board.'"
Johnson says she's shocked by the school's decision, and very "disappointed in the bias, the bigotry that I feel that they're really hiding behind."