Susan Johnson got into some problems when she played “Same Love” for her class. The Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song discusses marriage equality and the mistreatment of people who are gay. Johnson played the song, which was suggested by a student, in hopes to improve the diversity of the music in her class. Unfortunately, a student in her South Lyon’s Centennial Middle School complained, and she was suspended for three days- two of them without pay.
The school claimed that she violated a policy that required administrative review of all video clips before they are allowed to be played in class.
Johnson has been restored to her class, however, and her pay reinstated. According to Superintendent William Pearson
I am willing to not uphold the suspension, but the violation of the district practice regarding web-based clips and our expectations for instructions previewing materials under this will remain in writing. [...]
If students believe this discipline is a form of bullying, will encourage bullying, or most importantly, causes any member of our school community to feel they do not belong, then I have sent the wrong message and must correct that. We want all students to feel they belong and that they are valued, and our policies and procedures must support this.
The ACLU is currently investigating the incident.