Miley Cyrus Dolly Parton Rainbowland banned in Wisconsin school. They had been practicing for weeks for the impending spring concert in Melissa Tempel’s first-grade class at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha County, Wisconsin.
Miley Cyrus Dolly Parton Rainbowland banned
The school’s dual-language teacher, Tempel, and her colleague intended the concert to promote international understanding and harmony. They chose a variety of tunes, including a Spanish rendition of “It’s a Small World” and The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.”
It was also planned that the students will sing “Rainbowland,” a 2017 collaboration by Miley Cyrus and her godmother, Dolly Parton, whose lyrics promote diversity and acceptance. After Tempel and her colleague agreed on the song, she immediately began practicing it with her students. The concert is right before Mother’s Day, and she wants to give her first graders as much time as possible to memorize the songs.
Tempel told CNN that “Rainbowland” was an instant hit with her students.
However, Tempel reported that the school administration requested that she remove “Rainbowland” from the show just one day after pupils began learning the song. The school board’s stance on controversial matters in the classroom led the district to request the song’s removal, and the district announced in a statement that it had done so.
They sing, “Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in paradise, where we’re free to be precisely who we are” by Cyrus and Parton. Yeah, I’d be lying if I claimed this was nice, all the hurt and hate going on here; living in a Rainbowland, where you and I go together.
When CNN asked for comment, neither Cyrus nor Parton’s representatives were quick to answer.
Cyrus separately stated that some of the lyrics nod to “various colors, genders, and religions,” while Parton explained in 2017 that the song is about “if we could love one another a little stronger or be a little nicer, be a little sweeter, we might live in rainbow paradise.”
It would be beautiful if we all worked together to create and said, “Hey, we’re special, that’s amazing, but let us not modify our uniqueness, let’s stay different” Cyrus said.
According to Tempel, “Rainbowland” is more than “simply a song.”
She remarked, “We’re trying to foster inclusivity.” I don’t see any politics in the part about loving and accepting each other as we are.
A “controversial issue” in the Waukesha school system is one that “may be the subject of significant public controversy” and “may have political, social, or personal effects and/or the community,” among other qualifications. When CNN reached out to the superintendent of the Waukesha school system, James Sebert, he declined to elaborate on why “Rainbowland” was considered contentious.
US public schools have been removing rainbow-themed decorations
School district officials have attempted to eliminate other allusions to rainbows from schools, according to Tempel, who is concerned that the prohibition of “Rainbowland” is connected to broader efforts to curtail discussion of LGBTQ subjects in classrooms. According to her, last year district management demanded that all teachers remove any rainbow-themed decorations from their classrooms and stop wearing rainbow-themed lanyards or apparel.
Sebert said that certain signage had been removed in conformity with the policy that led to the “Rainbowland” ban, without mentioning any material featuring rainbows by name. He told CNN that the district has a bilingual “Commitment to Everyone” poster to remind pupils that they are valued, accepted, and heard.
The school board in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, has been more explicit in its guidance to teachers about LGBTQ kids, having earlier this year passed a resolution urging them not to use a student’s preferred nickname or pronouns without prior written consent from the student’s parent.
Around the United States, school districts are increasingly restricting teachers’ freedom to discuss LGBTQ issues with children of all ages. Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” rule forbade educators from broaching the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity with kids in grades K-3.
Earlier this year, USA Today revealed that school districts in several states have prohibited teachers from flying Pride flags on campus. Furthermore, novels with LGBTQ characters or themes have been banned in some school districts, including those in Texas, Louisiana, and Michigan.
Teachers in the Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin were informed they could not include pronouns or Pride flags in their email signatures after district administrators reinstated an old regulation against “partisan politics, separatist religious views, or materialistic propaganda,” CNN reported last year.
Another teacher at Heyer Elementary recommended replacing “Rainbowland” with “Rainbow Connection,” Kermit the Frog’s inspirational anthem about believing in oneself and going for your goals. That song was also initially forbidden, but after parents from the Alliance for Education in Waukesha brought it up with school administration, the decision was changed, as reported by Tempel.
Students will perform “Rainbow Connection” instead of “Rainbowland” at the performance, which has been “completely endorsed by the Superintendent,” according to a statement from the school system that Sebert gave to CNN.
Tempel and the faculty continue to prioritize diversity and equity
A parent whose kid is in Tempel’s co-class, teacher Samantha Siebenaller, lauded the teachers and staff at Heyer Elementary for “their dedication to establishing an environment where inclusiveness thrives despite the Board.”
Several Waukesha School Board members, according to Siebenaller, “shocked our neighborhood… with their unwavering dedication to diverse culture, equality, tolerance, and belonging,” she said in a statement.
CNN has contacted Kelly Piacsek, president of the Waukesha School Board, for comment.
When it comes to the rainbow posters in her classroom, Tempel hasn’t taken them down. Although the news that they wouldn’t be singing “Rainbow Land” was disappointing to her students, she is still dedicated to demonstrating her support for inclusivity in other ways. Once she tweeted about the school’s song prohibition, thousands of people started paying attention to her school and the planned show.
She told CNN that her top priority is “making sure my pupils feel secure and supported at school and that their identities are recognized, regardless of how they identify.”
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