A teacher in South Lyon, Michigan, has been suspended after playing a song for students that supports gay marriage. As a result of the action, Susan Johnson, an eighth-grade educator at South Lyon’s Centennial Middle School, has been removed from the classroom without pay.
The incident unfolded last week after a student asked if he could play it for other pupils to hear. The tune, by underground rapper Ben Macklemore, tackles the issues of hate, stereotyping and other related themes. While Johnson assumed her students could learn a great deal from the song, not everyone appreciated her decision to play it.
“I asked him a few questions about the song. If it was violent, if there was any profanity, and he said no,” Johnson, a performing arts teacher, explained. “And I said this sounds like a great song to go ahead and use for the class.”
WJBK-TV has more:
A student complained and by the end of the day, South Lyon school leadership informed the teacher that she would be suspended for three days (two without pay), WJBK-TV reports. Johnson is stunned and dumbfounded.
“I don’t think that it was really even thought through. I was paralyzed. I really didn’t understand why I was being suspended,” she told the outlet. “I’m very disappointed in the bias, the bigotry that I feel that they’re really hiding behind.”
School officials have declined to speak with media.
“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 educator added.
We’ll leave you with the controversial song and music video, below (caution: explicit):