A Michigan middle school teacher was suspended without pay last week for playing a song about being gay during class, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.
After a request from one of her students last Wednesday, Susan Johnson played a song from an underground rapper titled "Same Love." It was written in support for same-sex marriage. She had listened to the lyrics and thought her students could benefit from it.
The song illustrates the struggles and stereotypes often associated with being gay.
'I'm very disappointed in the bias, the bigotry that I feel that they're really hiding behind.'
- Susan Johnson
"Man that's gay, gets dropped on the daily, we become so numb to what we’re saying," Ben Maclemore, the rapper, proclaims in the song.
The song's message did not sit well with a student who reported it to South Lyon school officials. Johnson was promptly told she was suspended without pay, the station reported.
"I don't think that it was really even thought through," she said. "I was paralyzed. I really didn't understand why I was being suspended."
Johnson would be suspended a total of three days, not paid for two, the report said.
Melissa Baker, the assistant superintendent for the Centennial Middle School in South Lyon, did not provide the station with a comment.
"I'm very disappointed in the bias, the bigotry that I feel that they're really hiding behind," Johnson said.
The district, for its part, claims the song had controversial content -- homosexuality, religion, politics views and a sexual slur. It also says she should have asked permission to play the song.
"I really love my kids and I never want to hurt them, but I also know that there's a lot of bullying and there's a lot of gay bashing and racial issues going on in our country and I want the kids to feel comfortable in my class no matter who they are," Johnson said.
Johnson has resumed teaching, but told the station that the ACLU and other groups are getting involved in the matter.