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Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton’s Song featuring the word “rainbow” banned by Wisconsin’s school district

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Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton’s Song featuring the word “rainbow” got banned by Wisconsin’s school district. Melissa Tempel, a first-grade teacher at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, along with her co-teacher who is also a dual-language instructor, has been preparing her students for an upcoming spring concert with a theme of world unity and peace.

As part of the concert, they selected songs such as “It’s a Small World,” sung in Spanish, and “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.

As part of the concert, the students were going to perform the song “Rainbowland” by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, which promotes inclusivity.

The song was suggested by another faculty member and approved by Tempel and her co-teacher. The first graders have been rehearsing the song so they can learn it by heart before the concert, which is scheduled just before Mother’s Day.

Melissa Tempel stated that her students enjoyed learning the song “Rainbowland” right after they were introduced to it.

However, she said that the school administration asked her to remove the song from the concert one day after the students learned it. The district stated that the song was removed due to its “controversial” lyrics, as per the school board policy regarding controversial issues in the classroom.

The lyrics of “Rainbowland” by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton include lines such as “Wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise, where we’re free to be exactly who we are,” and “Living in a Rainbowland, where you and I go hand in hand. Oh, I’d be lying if I said this was fine, all the hurt and the hate going on here.”

CNN has not received a comment from representatives of Cyrus or Parton regarding the school’s decision to remove the song from the concert.

In 2017, Parton described “Rainbowland” as a song about loving one another better and being kinder to each other.

Meanwhile, Cyrus noted that the lyrics acknowledge different races, genders, and religions and that it would be great if everyone could come together and appreciate their differences. Cyrus also stated that a rainbow wouldn’t be a rainbow without all the different colors.

Melissa Tempel emphasized that “Rainbowland” is more than just a song and that it is about supporting inclusivity and promoting love and acceptance. She added that there is nothing political about these messages.

According to the policy of the Waukesha school district, a “controversial issue” could be the subject of intense public argument, may have political, social, or personal impacts on the community, and meet other criteria.

However, when asked about why “Rainbowland” was deemed controversial, the superintendent of the Waukesha school district, James Sebert, did not provide any specific information.

US Districts to Remove Rainbow Imagery | Miley Cyrus

School districts throughout the United States have been removing rainbow imagery from classrooms and educational materials due to concerns over controversy and politicization.

The rainbow, which has been associated with LGBTQ+ pride and support, has been seen as a symbol of inclusion and diversity by many educators.

However, some school districts have deemed the use of rainbows as “controversial” or “political,” leading to their removal from classrooms and materials. This has sparked a debate over the meaning and interpretation of symbols in education, and the role of schools in promoting inclusivity and diversity.

Tempel expressed concerns that the removal of “Rainbowland” could be related to broader efforts to limit the discussion of LGBTQ topics in classrooms.

She added that the district officials have attempted to remove other references to rainbows in schools, including decor and clothing.

Meanwhile, Sebert confirmed that some signage has been removed in accordance with the district’s policy, but did not specify if any of the signage featured rainbows. He mentioned that the district has its own poster called “Commitment to All” which emphasizes the respect, belonging, and voice of students in both English and Spanish.

Earlier this year, the Waukesha County school board approved a resolution that advises teachers to avoid using a student’s preferred nickname or pronouns unless they have written approval from the student’s parent.

This guidance pertains to LGBTQ students, and some see it as part of broader efforts to limit the discussion of LGBTQ topics in classrooms.

In recent years, school districts in the US have been implementing policies that restrict teachers from discussing LGBTQ topics with their students, regardless of their grade level. For example, a law known as “Don’t Say Gay” in Florida prohibits teachers from talking about sexuality and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade.

According to USA Today, school districts in several states across the US have prohibited teachers from displaying Pride flags. These states include Delaware, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

In addition, school districts in Texas, Louisiana, and Michigan have faced controversies over books that feature LGBTQ characters or address LGBTQ issues, with some books being banned.

Last year, CNN reported that teachers in the Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin were banned from displaying Pride flags or using pronouns in their email signatures, as school district officials reinterpreted an old policy that bans “partisan politics, sectarian religious views, or selfish propaganda.”

After “Rainbowland” by Miley Cyrus was banned at Heyer Elementary, another faculty member suggested that Tempel and her co-teacher replace the song with “Rainbow Connection,” which is Kermit the Frog’s famous anthem about hope and trying to achieve one’s dreams.

However, that song was also initially banned until parent members of the Alliance for Education in Waukesha spoke out against the ban and addressed it with school staff. Eventually, the administrators reversed the ban, Tempel said.

The school district has approved the replacement of “Rainbowland” with “Rainbow Connection” for the concert, and the superintendent fully supports this decision, according to a statement from the school district shared by Sebert with CNN.

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