Shortly after Michigan teacher Susan Johnson was suspended for allowing a student to play a pro-gay hip-hop song in class, the rapper Macklemore, whose song she played, said she is being treated unfairly.
Johnson was suspended for three days, two without pay, for allowing the song to be played in her performing arts class at Centennial Middle School in South Lyon, Mich. A student wanted to play a YouTube clip of the song "Same Love" in class, which Macklemore and Ryan Lewis created to support the fight for marriage equality in Washington State.
"This incident is just one of tens of thousands that have happened across the country where schools have exposed a latent homophobia, preventing a safe space for all young people to feel confident in being themselves," Macklemore said, according to Think Progress on Friday. "It's clear that Ms. Johnson felt bullying and 'gay bashing' were issues that needed to be addressed, and by doing so, was punished."
Johnson said she believed the song promoted tolerance and diversity, but another student in the class was offended by the song's message and reported it to school administrators.
School administrators told The Detroit News that a staff policy requires instructors to request approval of any taped material that will be used in a classroom. The material must also support the curriculum.
"The employee neither previewed the YouTube clip, nor submitted the form for approval as required," administrators said in a statement to the News. "Instead a student gave the clip to the employee at the beginning of class, and the employee showed the clip to the class. The clip had no relationship whatsoever to the instructional class content planned for that day."