In a controversial move, a teacher in Wisconsin was terminated from her position after school officials banned her class from performing the Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton duet, “Rainbowland.” Here’s the full story.
The incident occurred at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha, Milwaukee County, when a first-grade class was preparing to sing the song at their spring concert.
The School Had Banned the Song
The ban was implemented in March, with school district officials citing concerns that “Rainbowland” could be seen as controversial.
The Song Was Controversial?
Superintendent Jim Sebert stated, “It was determined that ‘Rainbowland’ could be perceived as controversial.”
The song, from Miley Cyrus’ 2017 album “Younger Now,” carries themes of inclusivity and acceptance, with lyrics such as “Wouldn’t it be nice (so nice) to live in paradise? Where we’re free to be exactly who we are, let’s all dig down deep inside, brush the judgment and fear aside, and make wrong things right.”
The Teacher Expressed Her Disappointment
The teacher, Melissa Tempel, had chosen the song because she believed its message of acceptance was universal and sweet.
In response to the ban, she expressed her disappointment on social media, tweeting, “When will it end?”
The Tweet Was Seen by School Officials
However, her social media post and subsequent media interviews about the ban caught the attention of school officials.
She Was Fired
On Wednesday, July 12, the Waukesha School District Board of Education voted to terminate Tempel’s employment, as reported by a local media outlet.
She Brought Negative Attention
Superintendent Sebert and Principal Mark Schneider addressed the board, stating that Tempel’s actions were seen as deliberately bringing negative attention to the school district and failing to follow protocol and procedure.
Her Behavior Was Intolerable
Sebert emphasized that he considered Tempel’s behavior intolerable, leading to the decision to terminate her.
The Constitutional Rights
Following the board’s ruling, Tempel’s lawyer, Summer Murshid, expressed disappointment but indicated their intention to file a First Amendment claim.
Murshid emphasized that the case was not about culture wars or rainbows but rather about constitutional rights, stating, “It’s a case of our constitutional rights, and Ms.Tempel has them like every other person in this country.”
The Teacher Shared Her Gratitude
Tempel herself expressed gratitude for the support she received and expressed missing her students.
Since being placed on administrative leave in March, she has been unable to communicate with them.
The contentious decision has sparked a debate about freedom of speech and the First Amendment.
“Is This Cancel Culture?”
Several Twitter users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One user wrote, “Is this cancel culture? Because I was told that’s really bad.”
Another user commented, “A whole lot of stupid with a side of bigotry going on…”
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Source: The Pink News