My Fox Detroit has reported that a teacher in South Lyon, Michigan has been suspended for allowing a student in her class play a “pro-gay marriage” song last Wednesday.
Susan Johnson, an eighth grade performing arts teacher at Centennial Middle School, was asked by a student if he could play the song Same Love by rapper Ben Maclemore. Johnson asked the student questions about the song to ensure that it didn’t include violence or profanity, and he said that it did not, so she allowed it. Once Johnson realized the song’s topic matter, she thought that it was something her students could learn from. However, not everyone agreed. Another student went to the school office and complained.
“This is one of the things in my school that we’re trying to practice and we’re trying to instill in our students is tolerance to diversity.”
Johnson was initially told that she was suspended indefinitely without pay, but in a closed door meeting later, the principal and assistant superintendent informed her that her suspension is only three days, two of them without pay. Johnson says she was “paralyzed” and “very disappointed in the bias, the bigotry that I feel that they’re really hiding behind.”
“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 paperwork that Johnson received from the school stated that the song had controversial content (homosexuality, religion, political views and a sexual slur), and that Johnson should have asked permission first. The school has refused to comment. Assistant Superintendent Melissa Baker said “No one is going to have a comment for you. We don’t go on camera here in South Lyon.”
Johnson told Fox Detroit that the ACLU and the LGBT support group called Affirmation are involved.