A first grade class at Heyer Elementary in Wisconsin was told they could not sing a song by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus for an upcoming spring concert because it was too "controversial." No, it wasn't about drugs or guns. But yes, it had the word "rainbow" in it. The song "Rainbowland" was written in 2017 and is about unity, so naturally the dark-red Waukesha school administration deemed it was inappropriate.
"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?" tweeted Melissa Tempel (see below), the teacher who had approved the song before the school administration axed it.
Another song the district nixed from the school concert program was "Rainbow Connection" by the brazen Kermit the Frog, but received such "an uproar from parents," according to the Advocate, that the district reversed their decision on the Muppet song.
From The Advocate:
Officials at the school did not elaborate on the potential controversy surrounding the song. Its name, however, includes the word "rainbow," and in a school district taken over by right-wingers, this word and all things colorful seem to be taboo.
The School District of Waukesha wrote in a statement that it would have no further communication about the Heyer Elementary situation, but that "this entire matter has been reviewed, and the outcomes are fully supported by the Superintendent," adding, "at no time was the Board of Education involved in this matter."
While choosing not to criticize board members personally, Tempel said that the right-wing takeover of the local school boards has resulted in hostile policies toward LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and their families.
Due to a recent policy change, preferred pronouns are no longer acknowledged or permitted in Waukesha schools, and multiple colors on masks and lanyards are prohibited. That's to avoid being misconstrued as showing solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community which is considered political, she says.
After some consideration, the Boing Boing board has audaciously decided to include the audio of "Rainbowland" below, posted on YouTube by Summer Songs. Warning: it contains "rainbow" in the title.
Front page thumbnail image: Nikki Zalewski / shutterstock.com