Dolly Parton And Miley Cyrus’ ‘Rainbowland’ Gets A Teacher Fired

Elifnaz Yuksel

An elementary school teacher Melissa Tempel has been terminated because she wanted to include Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus’ song ‘Rainbowland’ in a first-grade concert. In March, Melissa tweeted her frustration about the situation, saying:

“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?”

According to the School District of Waukesha Board of Education, Tempel violated three of the school board policies, one of which was to post about the issue on social media before consulting her supervisors. Waukesha School District Superintendent James Sebert expressed the issue with the following words:

“Ms. Tempel deliberately brought negative attention to the school district because she disagreed with the decision as opposed to following protocol and procedure, and I believe that behavior is intolerable.”

During the hearing, as opposed to Sebert’s explanation, Melissa said:

“I thought that the fact that the tweet that I made, that ‘Rainbowland’ wasn’t going to be allowed, was something that the public would be really concerned about and that they would be interested in knowing about it.”

One of the reasons why Tempel has been actively tweeting about the situation was the board’s lack of giving the reason why they banned the song, other than it ‘could be deemed controversial.’

Apart from the song, Melissa pointed out other issues on social media, such as the school board also banned ‘The Rainbow Connection’ from ‘The Muppet Movie,’ then unbanned when parents opposed this decision.

In a separate interview, one of the parents argued that the school gradually deemed anything related to the LGBTQ+ community ‘political’ and restricted teachers.

“One of those is a controversial topics policy saying that teachers can’t have any kind of signage that could be deemed political. … Discussion of pronouns with students was another thing that came up. And teachers aren’t allowed to wear rainbows.”

You can listen to ‘Rainbowland’ below.


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