ONTD Political

Teacher suspended for letting student play pro-gay equality song to class

10:34 pm - 11/29/2012
A teacher at a school in South Lyon, Michigan has been suspended without pay for allowing a student to play a song about gay love to his class.

Susan Johnson, a performing arts teacher told Fox News that an eigth grade student at South Lyon’s Centennial Middle School asked if he could play a song to a class of 13 and 14 year-olds.

“I asked him a few questions about the song. If it was violent, if there was any profanity, and he said no. And I said this sounds like a great song to go ahead and use for the class,” the teacher told the network.

The song, “Same Love” is by rapper Ben Maclemore that talks of the dangers of hate and stereotype by describing the struggle of a gay man from birth to death.

“This is one of the things in my school that we’re trying to practice and we’re trying to instill in our students is tolerance to diversity,” she said.

After a student disagreed with the message of tolerance, they went to the principal who immediately suspended the teacher without pay.

“I don’t think that it was really even thought through,” she said. “I was paralyzed. I really didn’t understand why I was being suspended.”

The local authorities gave her paperwork that explained that she was suspended because the song is “controversial” because it contains content about homosexuality. Michigan has a constitutional state ban on same-sex marriage. The state outlawed anal sex (for gay and straight couples) until the US Supreme Court ruled that such bans were illegal in 2003.

Ms Johnson said:”I really love my kids and I never want to hurt them, but I also know that there’s a lot of bullying and there’s a lot of gay bashing and racial issues going on in our country and I want the kids to feel comfortable in my class no matter who they are.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are now investigating the case.

source, also, video for the song in question (warning, may cause all sorts of feels and unexpected rain on faces)
thenakedcat 30th-Nov-2012 05:19 am (UTC)
Best. Music. Video. Ever.

Worst. School. Policy. Ever.
romp 30th-Nov-2012 05:30 am (UTC)
My college student son sent that video to his 2 moms a few weeks ago. (awww!)

on topic: Did I miss where the school policy was cited? Or the problem that one student's religion is opposed to something legal?
ebay313 30th-Nov-2012 06:42 am (UTC)
According to the school district:

"The district has an established practice, included in the staff handbook, that requires the instructor to first preview any taped material to be used in the classroom, including YouTube clips, then submit a completed form about the proposed clip to a building administrator for approval," read the statement.

"To ensure that the proposed material supports the curriculum for the class, the form requires the instructor to provide a brief description of the clip and how it relates to the lesson plan.

"Further, the instructor is to identify the curriculum benchmarks that students will complete as a result of watching the clip. The employee neither previewed the YouTube clip, nor submitted the form for approval as required. Instead, a student gave the clip to the employee at the beginning of class and the employee showed the clip to the class. The clip had no relationship whatsoever to the instructional class content planned for that day. The purpose of this established practice is to ensure that instructional materials are appropriate for the course and its students. It is because we care about all students that we have this procedure in place."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121129/METRO02/211290425#ixzz2DgZ7N9S0

(read this first on the Detroit News because that's what someone on my facebook linked to.)

I call bullshit, I don't think they would have reacted the same if it wasn't related to homosexuality but that's their statement.
littlelauren86 30th-Nov-2012 05:46 am (UTC)
After a student disagreed with the message of tolerance

zinnia_rose 30th-Nov-2012 08:22 am (UTC)
MTE. >:(
cyranothe2nd 30th-Nov-2012 05:59 am (UTC)
Fuck this school district. Macklemore is awesome.
lady_borg 30th-Nov-2012 06:37 am (UTC)
I am just going to stand the rain with stick in my eye after watching that video to hide...um, the leakage on my face.

Fuck that school for bowing to ONE student
squeeful 30th-Nov-2012 07:09 am (UTC)
Fuck that school for bowing to ONE student bigotry.

The numbers don't matter.
zemi_chan 30th-Nov-2012 06:49 am (UTC)
Awesome teacher. Awesome song. I literally just heard this song (and saw it's video) a few hours ago today. I thought I was going to lose it.

I wish I had the words to describe how happy this song makes me. lol

otana 30th-Nov-2012 07:44 am (UTC)
Oh god the end of that video. Rainstorm inside my apartment, I swear.
pleasure_past 30th-Nov-2012 09:32 am (UTC)
the song is “controversial” because it contains content about homosexuality.

Okay, I kind of want to file the complaint to end all complaints against my Colorado high school right now for all of the books I had to read about heterosexuality, and all of the songs I had to sing about heterosexuality, and all of the tests I had to take on heterosexual sex, and all of the movies I had to watch about heterosexuality. Really, I had so much ~controversial~ material pushed onto me that I just don't know where to begin! DAMMIT, PEOPLE, WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT CISHETS?!
natyanayaki 30th-Nov-2012 10:24 am (UTC)
If I didn't love my HS so much, I would seriously consider bringing such a law suit just to make a point. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some day a genius high schooler thought of this (in response to something like this) and goes forward with it, even if it's just to make the point.
tiddlywinks103 30th-Nov-2012 10:34 am (UTC)
After a student disagreed with the message of tolerance, they went to the principal who immediately suspended the teacher without pay.

Wow, one whiny student, and a teacher is suspended without pay immediately, yet several complaints from parents about a sexually abusive teacher, and you can can hardly get the scum out of the fucking classroom, much less suspended, much less without pay, much less actually fucking prosecuted.

Priorities. Y'all's is fucked up.
ragnor144 30th-Nov-2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
Let's talk some more about the persecution of Christians.
maynardsong 30th-Nov-2012 02:40 pm (UTC)
JFC. You'd think this song had been a graphic description of a sexual act or something. Here's a good standard - if a story about a straight couple is SFW, then the same story about a gay couple is SFW. And vice versa. Why can't that be adopted?
seashell_bikini 30th-Nov-2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
After a student disagreed with the message of tolerance,

You. Disagreed? with. TOLERANCE? With accepting other people for who they are? What the hell is wrong with you? I want to slap them.

Also, the state OUTLAWED anal sex? How can you outlaw something I do in the privacy of my bedroom with my partner?!
laja_89 30th-Nov-2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
I totally "WTF"ed the ban on anal sex. What the hell?!
shoujokakumei 30th-Nov-2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
Fuck this school and fuck the little bigot who got all buttmad about the song.
kitanabychoice 30th-Nov-2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
This is some straight-up bullshit.
armina_skitty 30th-Nov-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, my. How'd the rain get inside all over my face? That song... *sniffle* And that teacher! She needs to find a better school where she's allowed to teach her kids as best she can.
texasskier 30th-Nov-2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
How many "tolerant" people want to fuck this school!
Last time I see, that most aggressive people in this country are gays.
Generally speaking I am sure, that principal had enough reasons to suspend her. But she started to make noise from her case, because she can hire a lot of aggressive bawlers on her side.
redstar826 30th-Nov-2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
lol this community has had such poor quality trolls lately.
koshkabegemot 30th-Nov-2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Okay, like not even a minute into the video = me crying my eyes out.

Also, fuck this school and fuck bigotry.
amyura 30th-Nov-2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
That teacher is awesome. I'm actually more pissed off at the administration than the kid. Kids do stupid shit, and if the kid was getting bigoted crap at home, he or she would probably accept the bigotry at face value. But the administrators should have taken things much more slowly, had a talk with the teacher about what happened to get the teacher's side, maybe called in the kid who played the video, and at WORST, asked the teacher to run sensitive material by them before showing it in class. Suspension without pay with no protocol followed? WTF?
poetic_pixie_13 30th-Nov-2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
Just here to stan for Maclemore, tbqh. First time I saw that video I was bawling. In a good way.
meimichan 30th-Nov-2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
My hometown. Failing epically. Like it does SO WELL.

I am not even a little bit surprised by this. For being so close to Ann Arbor, South Lyon is a VERY conservative little town. Centennial was an elementary school when I was a middle school student(at the middle school right next to Centennial, how convenient!), but it was hell if you were not a perfect little white Christian...which I was not(am not). I eventually just learned to keep my mouth shut, because I found out fast enough that my right to not be treated like shit didn't exist there.

I was witnessed to by Christian classmates and it wouldn't really be stopped, we had Christian songs played (and not just in music class), there was pissing and moaning over singing general holiday or Jewish holiday music for the holiday, wait, my bad, CHRISTMAS, concert, I got grief during class in group projects because when I first moved there I would answer honestly about what church my family attended(none) and then get grief all class period about that...

That school system doesn't give a crap about you if you rock their perfect little boat in any way.

In all honesty, most of the teachers I had were pretty cool. The school administrators? Holy. Shit. They were HORRIBLE. Some things apparently never change.

I can't even imagine what it was like there for my many non-straight friends who came out after graduation.

Seriously, fuck you South Lyon schools. You treated me like shit, you treated my brother like shit, you treated my friends like shit, and now you're treating the current students like shit. Just...fucking stop it already.

Edited at 2012-11-30 11:52 pm (UTC)
redstar826 30th-Nov-2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
uggg, so sorry you had to deal with that. Oakland county in general can be pretty ick, I think (I'm more towards the middle of the county, but it's kind of the same where I am)
crack_rabbit 1st-Dec-2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
Here's Mack's response.

I know they're not all that well known (yet!) and not everyone is a hardcore fan like I am, but I have to pedantically correct "Ben Maclemore." The song is by Macklemore x Ryan Lewis. Macklemore is not a last name, it's his full stage name. (Macklemore's real name is Ben Haggerty, but he doesn't use it professionally.)

"Same Love" is amazing, and I'm glad it's getting him well-known. He was originally going to write the song as a first-person thing from the perspective of a gay kid getting bullied, but he and Ryan discussed it and realized that wasn't his story to tell, so he went from this angle since it was what he knew. He's always advocated for social justice in his music, including songs musing his own white privilege and how it relates to his place in hip-hop culture, the role of consumerism in society, his own recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, etc. He came up with Blue Scholars and folks like that in the NW scene.

It was kind of funny when he was on the XXL freshmen cover last year since he's been doing it for 13 years, but ah well. I'm just glad to see him getting attention. Mack's been putting out records since 2000, when he was ~17. His solo stuff is great, but when he hooked up with Ryan Lewis, that's when shit really took off, and The Heist is an incredible album.

They're also getting a lot of attention for Thrift Shop, which is far goofier than most of their stuff but is pretty much hilarious and flawless.


Edited at 2012-12-01 09:53 pm (UTC)
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