A 2017 song by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus, “Rainbowland” has landed in controversy after it was banned at a Class 1 Spring Concert being organised at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha, United States, as per a report in People Magazine.
Melissa Tempel, a dual language teacher at Heyer Elementary, took to Twitter on March 22 and called out the Waukesha County board of education over the decision to ban the song as well as the Muppet Movie classic “Rainbow Connection”.
She posted a picture of the lyrics of the song and said, “My first graders were so excited to sing ‘Rainbowland’ for our spring concert, but it has been vetoed by our administration. When will it end?”
The song Rainbow Connection from the Muppet Movie has also been taken off our spring concert list now. #muppets#jimhenson#publicschools@DollyParton@MileyCyrus@billyraycyrus@waukeshaschools@ACLULGBThttps://t.co/mRNzbi0pLz
— Maestra Melissa (@melissatempel) March 23, 2023
As per the outlet, Ms Tempel claimed that the song was banned because Miley Cyrus “is controversial,” but she “thought for sure” that Dolly Parton’s standing with drag queens and the LGBTQ community had a part in the decision.
According to CBS News, Superintendent Jim Sebert acknowledged that “Rainbowland” was removed from the set list. “Yes, it was determined that Rainbowland could be perceived as controversial according to SDW Board Policy 2240. The main question was is the song appropriate for the age level and maturity of the students. The teacher was asked to pick a different song for the first-grade concert which ended up being Rainbow Connection by Jim Henson. That song is great for first graders and fits in their concert theme as well,” he said in a statement.
It is to be noted that a “controversial issue” is defined as one that “may be the subject of intense public argument,” according to the school board’s definition.
Ms Tempel provided an update on Thursday, noting that “Rainbow Connection” had been unbanned as a result of messages from parents and the local Alliance for Education. Without them, she wrote, “I don’t know where I’d be.”
“Rainbow Connection was unbanned today after parents sent emails to admin. Alliance for Education in Waukesha knows how to ally. I don’t know where I’d be without them,” she wrote on Twitter on March 24.