If you remember, yesterday the story broke about Michigan teacher, Susan Johnson, who was suspended for playing a song that featured a homophobic slur. Johnson said she played the song as it combated bullying and homophobia but school administrators felt differently.
Now the group that created the song are speaking out against suspension. Macklemore is saying the suspension is “completely out of line and unjust” because the song was created to help Washington State approve same sex marriage. But first, here are the lyrics surrounding the controversy:
If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me/ 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.”
Macklemore states in his recent blogpost that the suspension is just more homophobia and felt like school administrators lost the point of the song aimed to promote civil rights:
“This incident is just one of tens of thousands that have happened across the country where schools have exposed a latent homophobia, preventing safe space for all young people to feel confident in being themselves. It’s clear that Ms. Johnson felt bullying and ‘gay bashing’ were issues that needed to be addressed, and by doing so, was punished.”
“It’s discouraging that a song about love and civil rights has led to a teacher getting suspended from her job. But that’s where we are at. For those of us who get a pit in our stomach when reading a story like this, it just makes it abundantly clear there is far more work to be done.”
Now the school administrators who suspended Johnson without pay for 3 days responded to the controversy with this statement:
“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.”
Again I ask, fellow readers, was the school administration right to suspend Johnson or was the statement just a cover up?