Beating a student during class? No.
Being drunk while teaching? No.
Having sex with a minor? No.
Susan Johnson was suspended for playing a song about being gay during class.
See, it was just another day in her eighth grade performing arts class when a student asked if he could play a song. Ms. Johnson asked him questions about the song, like if it was violent or had any profanity in the lyrics, and when the student said 'No,' she said, "[T]his sounds like a great song to go ahead and use for the class."
The song played was "Same Love", by Ben Maclemore and Ryan Lewis, written in support of same sex marriage. The song deals with the dangers of hate and stereotypes by showing the struggle of a homosexual man from birth to death and Susan Johnson thought it something her students could learn from:
"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."But, sadly, another student in the classroom that day isn't keen on tolerance and diversity and complained about the song choice. Before that school day was over, Susan Johnson had been told by both the principal and assistant superintendent told her she was suspended for three days, two of which she would not receive her pay.
"I don't think that it was really even thought through. I was paralyzed. I really didn't understand why I was being suspended."Assistant Superintendent Melissa Baker couldn't bother to respond except to say: "No one is going to have a comment for you. We don't go on camera here in South Lyon."
But Baker gave Johnson some paperwork to explain why; it seems the district claims the song had controversial content--homosexuality, religion, political views and a sexual slur--and says Susan Johnson should have asked permission to play the song.
"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."--Susan Johnson.It's too bad the principal and school officials didn't feel the same way. They'll teach the Three R's bot not Tolerance.