Melissa Tempel, a first-grade teacher in Waukesha, Wisconsin, took to Twitter to show how upset she was that the local school board had taken songs out of an upcoming musical with rainbow-related themes.
She taught dual language at Heyer Elementary and regarded this as a direct attack on the joy and inclusion of her kids. The two songs in dispute were “Rainbowland” by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton and “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.
These tunes were chosen to help disseminate positive sentiments of inclusiveness among the students, but the board had other ideas. Melissa expressed her disappointment at their omission, calling it an “awful travesty” that such upbeat music could not be heard.
Even though first graders in the Waukesha School District loved Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson’s 2017 duet “Rainbowland,” the song was left out of their spring musical.
The happy song’s lyrics allude to a utopian society where everyone can be themselves: “Living in a Rainbowland, with blue sky and everything grand. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a paradise where we could be exactly who we wanted to be?”
Regrettably, administrative choices will prevent this hope of freedom and expression from being realized.
Samantha Tempel was astonished to learn that the song “Rainbowland,” written by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, had been banned.
The two vocalists asked listeners to “sweep away judgment and fear” in the song while campaigning for violence’s end.
Although Cyrus is a controversial figure, Tempel believes it was Parton’s tremendous popularity within the LGBTQ community that led to the ban. However, her students continued to sing the catchy tune.
Kathy Tempel thanked the Alliance for Education and the parents who sent emails for their help in getting “Rainbow Connection” back in her classroom.
The Alliance’s work has been invaluable to the community since many regard this new decision by school administrators as an attempt to limit diversity and prevent equality from reaching all Waukesha residents.
Sarah Schindler, whose daughter is in Tempel’s class, said that recent happenings had produced a shift in attitudes within the school board; there has been significant criticism among parents regarding lockdown measures imposed as a result of COVID-19.
Recent policy changes in the Waukesha School District have prompted some disagreement in the community. These regulations forbid instructors from exhibiting political signs, wearing rainbows, or discussing pronouns and sexual orientation with pupils.
This contradicts the district’s nondiscrimination policy, which includes safeguarding people based on their sexual orientation.
The trend of anti-LGBTQ legislation has only grown in recent years, with over 300 laws introduced in the United States this year alone.
This includes Florida’s “Don’t Speak Gay” policy, which passed into law last March and has been widely criticized nationwide.
These regulations are perceived as limiting LGBTQ individuals’ rights and how schools educate children about sexual orientation and gender identity.