A North Carolina teacher was disciplined for showing the music video for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Same Love to students. The Taylorsville Times reported Alexander County Schools Associate Superintendent Dr. Jeff Peal said the teacher is back to work this week but showed “an inappropriate video…outside the bounds of the curriculum” that merited “disciplinary action.”
The rap video was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Same Love, which was written in collaboration with Seattle-based singer-songwriter Mary Lambert. It appeared on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ debut album “The Heist” in 2012. The song describes Macklemore’s own early struggles with the idea of sexual orientation—he is straight—before vouching for same-sex marriage rights and bemoaning the efforts of those opposed to them.
The video was shown to a class at West Alexander Middle School, but Peal declined to tell the Times the grade level or name the teacher. Peal also did not detail what the discipline for the teacher entailed.
Similarly, a South Lyon, Mich., performing arts teacher, Susan Johnson, was suspended without pay for playing the same song during class last November after a student asked her to play the song.
"I asked him a few questions about the song. If it was violent, if there was any profanity, and he said no. And I said this sounds like a great song to go ahead and use for the class," said Susan Johnson.
However, another student in class didn't agree with the lyrics, and reported her to school officials. Johnson said the principal and assistant superintendent told her she was suspended indefinitely without pay before the day ended.
Here is an excerpt of the song’s lyrics:
"When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
‘Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She’s like 'Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-k, trippin’'
Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she?
Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, 'Yeah, I’m good at little league'
A preconceived idea of what it all meant
For those that liked the same sex
Had the characteristics
The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don’t know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago
I don’t know"