Teen Gets Teacher Suspended for Gay Tolerance Lesson

gay prideWe all want to be the parent of the kid who has strong convictions and stands up for what they believe in. But what happens when what they believe in is dead wrong? Take the teenager who complained to the school administration after his teacher had played a song about tolerance and same sex marriage.

Susan Johnson, the performing arts teacher who allowed Seattle rapper Macklemore's song "Same Love" to be played in her classroom, has been suspended without pay. All because this one kid told the administrators that he was uncomfortable.


Uncomfortable. With tolerance? After all, the song proclaims:

Whatever God you believe in

We come from the same one

Strip away the fear

Underneath it's all the same love

It's the sort of message I'd be proud to have my daughter spreading herself. If it was played in her classroom, I'd stand up and applaud the teacher who allowed it. And I'd be horrified if my kid were the one who got her suspended from her job.

So I have to wonder what the parents of the teen malcontent are thinking. I imagine they're on his side, hence his backward thinking. Kids, after all, do not come by hate naturally. It's learned, typically inside the home.

But what if they're good folks, parents who are as flabbergasted as I am that a child would actually raise a rumpus over such a positive message?

What can they do? Is it too late? Do you have to stick up for your kid because they had the guts to stick up for what they believed in?

It's tough. You want to be proud of them for having the strength of their convictions. That's what we're raising them to do.

But Johnson was teaching an eighth grade class, so I'm going to bet the kid was around 13 or 14. At that age, they're still kids; they still need guidance. There's a gentle way to tell your kids that you're proud of them for trying to take a stand but make clear that the stand was wrong. It's if you don't do both that you have the real problem.

What would you do if this was your kid?


Image via Hey Paul Studios/Flickr

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