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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