A Wisconsin teacher might be fired over a Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus song
A teacher’s job is at risk after publicly criticizing the school district’s decision to ban ‘Rainbowland’ from the classroom.
Earlier this year, Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha, Wisconsin was gearing up for a concert performed by the school’s first-grader. While Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus’ duet ‘Rainbowland’ was originally included in the setlist it was later banned.
The reason was never explicitly given, but it’s highly speculated that the song was banned for its pro-LGBTQ+ implications.
Now, a first-grade teacher at the school, Melissa Tempel, claims that the district’s superintendent has recommended that she be fired for criticizing the district’s decision to ban the song.
“I know the school board,” Tempel told Insider. “They’re the ones pushing this stuff the whole time, so I don’t think there’s any chance they’re going to change their mind.”
Tempel has been placed on leave from the district since April 3 and worries about her students.
“They haven’t had a teacher in over a month. It’s been complete chaos in my classroom,” she said. “The kids don’t know what’s happening and they’re all concerned and worried.”
The teacher hopes that, at the very least, her situation will help others understand what’s going on in schools.
“If they’re able to silence teachers or drive teachers out of districts... where they’re not feeling welcomed then we’re creating these voids in education where pockets of people are never going to hear about diversity or acceptance for others,” Tempel said.
“I feel like ... they’re trying to slowly drive us crazy by making us feel crazy by saying that we’ve done things wrong when we haven’t done anything wrong when we are only doing what we know is right but they want us to doubt ourselves, and they want us to always second guess before we speak.”
The original banning was met with criticism
The original banning of ‘Rainbowland’ was met with heavy criticism online. Even Cyrus’ non-profit organization, the Happy Hippie Foundation, which supports the LGBTQ+ community and homeless youth responded on Twitter.
“To the inspiring first-grade students at Heyer Elementary, keep being YOU. We believe in our Happy Hippie heart that you’ll be the ones to brush the judgment and fear aside and make all of us more understanding and accepting,” the tweet read.