4:44 pm - 11/29/2012

Michigan School Suspends Teacher For Playing 'Same Love' by Macklemore and Lewis

South Lyon Centennial Middle School teacher Sue Johnson was suspended for three days last Wednesday after presenting a YouTube clip of the hip-hop song "Same Love" by underground rapper Macklemore, which discusses struggles faced by gay individuals.

During her eighth grade performing arts class, Johnson selected a musical piece and facilitated a class discussion about it. She got the idea from an in-service training that encouraged teachers to start their classes with music.

Johnson told Between The Lines that a student approached her and asked if she could play Macklemore's "Same Love" music video for the class.

"I asked him if there were any swear words, any violence. He told me "no" and I said we could go ahead," Johnson said. "The little boy who brought it was so engaged. One boy raised his hand and said he had an uncle who was gay. Another girl said her aunts were."

Johnson told the students that she knew someone who was gay too. "One of my friends whose brother was gay went to Miami Beach. He and his friend went to dinner and a couple clubs, and he was attacked — and he died. I told them nobody should have hate like that for each other.

"We talked about what 'Same Love' means. We talked about social justice. We talked about how the Constitution says we are all created equal, but can all people use our Constitution equally?"

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365reasonswhy 30th-Nov-2012 12:29 am (UTC)
I sort of wish the people of /b/ would use their creepy locating powers to find out who the kid that complained was so that their parents could be exposed as the bigots that they most likely are.
turi 30th-Nov-2012 12:36 am (UTC)
Can't lie, I thought this too
psubookworm27 30th-Nov-2012 02:57 am (UTC)
The kids have probably already figured it out and, if they disagree with the school/love this teacher (and I suspect most of them do), they're already shaming the hell out of this kid.
flashnights 30th-Nov-2012 12:30 am (UTC)
this was a really qt song/video and i cannot believe a teacher was suspended for playing it. especially considering the context in which faggot was used. i remember had teachers who would play movies/videos that were "too mature" for us and make us promise not to tell.
ronnie_luvs_u 30th-Nov-2012 12:32 am (UTC)
promise not to tell, or cover the screen + mute during "explicit" parts.
hypnology 30th-Nov-2012 12:34 am (UTC)
We had a teacher who taught western civ, and the videos he showed were ancient but showed brief boobage, and he was always telling us 'the human body is beautiful' so we shouldn't be offended by it.
Another teacher constantly questioned everything we said so that we backed up our answers and so that we thought for ourselves.
My school may have been a shithole for some reasons, but we had some great teachers.
rubybruiseday 30th-Nov-2012 12:54 am (UTC)
lol yeah, my french teacher let us watch amelie and she held a cardboard sign that said "CENSORED BY (our school district)" over the orgasm scene haha.
nikkyc2001 30th-Nov-2012 01:09 am (UTC)
When I was teaching, I fast-forwarded through the dance/sex scene in Their Eyes Were Watching God. My principal walked in at that exact moment and was like "carry on".
psubookworm27 30th-Nov-2012 03:05 am (UTC)
I used to teach The Crucible and when I showed the movie, I just started it right where the play itself starts (with Betty already...err, faking sick). They have no idea there's all kinds of naked dancing in the beginning until they see it at home or something, lol.
fionaapple 30th-Nov-2012 12:36 am (UTC)

In our senior year of high school, we had to take a government class and I could not believe how bigoted people were about homosexuality/LGBT rights. It made me feel VERY threatened as a young gay man, tbh. Sad part was I was already out and many of those people opposed to LGBT knew that.
sweetlilcanuck 30th-Nov-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
fuck this shit, I'm going thrift shopping
possevi 30th-Nov-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
I'm sorry but if someone can play a video of a late-term abortion to get people to be against abortion for a school project (true fucking story, I was there), then this shit has every right to be shown.

Ugh, I can't.
psubookworm27 30th-Nov-2012 02:32 am (UTC)
did anyone complain about it?
possevi 30th-Nov-2012 02:35 am (UTC)
thisampersand 30th-Nov-2012 12:38 am (UTC)
how old is an average eight grader?
obrien 30th-Nov-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
About 14/15? Something like that.
fionaapple 30th-Nov-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
13 going on 14
melodic_notes 30th-Nov-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
Thirteen or fourteen.
thesilverymoon 30th-Nov-2012 12:40 am (UTC)
13. So this is shit they should be used to by now.
fancypiink 30th-Nov-2012 04:22 am (UTC)
seriously. 13 year olds experience, see, say, and do worse.
thisampersand 30th-Nov-2012 12:46 am (UTC)
ty for the responses, those kids are definitely old enough to be having discussion about such topics without being "offended"
violue 30th-Nov-2012 12:38 am (UTC)
omg fuck this
eomir 30th-Nov-2012 12:43 am (UTC)
This is ridiculous. The classes and teachers I learned the most from were the ones who didn't just stick to what they were supposed to teach but the ones who wanted us to discuss things and would veer off from the topic and have us be engaged in the class. Part of the reason our education system isn't that good is that teachers aren't allowed to do anything and everything is based around these stupid standardized tests. Students are bored and aren't learning because it's just fact A and test B. My parents are both retired teachers and by the time they were done teaching you could tell it had all become so frustrating for them. Sorry, tl:dr.
stellarlyssa 30th-Nov-2012 12:44 am (UTC)
"We talked about what 'Same Love' means. We talked about social justice. We talked about how the Constitution says we are all created equal, but can all people use our Constitution equally?"

jfc, she should get a bonus for this type of discussion, not a suspension
kdvn 30th-Nov-2012 01:03 am (UTC)
beatlebug_2 30th-Nov-2012 12:46 am (UTC)
What bullshit! Ryan Lewis is kind of hot.
ladyofmachinery 30th-Nov-2012 12:46 am (UTC)
I can't with this world rn
yurasama_love 30th-Nov-2012 12:47 am (UTC)
Rude and wrong. That's an incredibly inoffensive video.
thisampersand 30th-Nov-2012 12:48 am (UTC)
like shit when I was 13/14 we talked about issues like this in our civic/social studies class and I went to an all girls catholic school. no one ever complained.
clayrulzz 30th-Nov-2012 12:49 am (UTC)
As a new (and yet to be employed) teacher, I am appalled at the school board and just emailed them a letter. I taught Grade 8 during my practicum last year, and it is so important to be engaging the students in these types of issues *now*. It's the perfect age and the teacher should be rewarded, not punished. Sigh.
slagathor42 30th-Nov-2012 01:02 am (UTC)
They would have fired a new teacher. Or not offer them a contract at the end of the year. The only reason this teacher is still there is because she has 26 years of teaching under her belt, plus a contract.

I'm sure if they thought they could get rid of her without a grievance or a lawsuit, they would have.
toraguru 30th-Nov-2012 12:49 am (UTC)
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