A North Carolina middle school teacher was suspended for three days for showing students the Rap video “Same Love,” Macklemore’s song promoting equal rights for gays.
“The issue in this matter was one of whether the video was curriculum-based, educationally-related, and age-appropriate for a class of prepubescent 13-year-olds,” Alexander County school board attorney Joel Harbinson told CNN on Thursday.
The seven-minute video includes a kiss between two men at a wedding altar and ends with an elderly gay couple holding hands in a hospital room.
“The right-wing conservatives think that it’s a decision and you can be cured with some treatment and religion, man-made rewiring of a predisposition,” Macklemore raps.
The school board lawyer would not identify the teacher, describe the class subject or give details about the disciplinary action taken.
“The administration and the teacher reached an understanding based solely on these factors that was mutually agreeable to all parties,” Harbinson said. “We look forward to the teacher being a valuable member of our school system for years to come as we continue our commitment to provide the best possible education to all of our students as well as to treat each of them with compassion and understanding.”
The incident occurred last week and the teacher is back on the job at West Alexander Middle School, Harbinson told CNN.
Macklemore, who did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment this week, did publish a response last November when a Michigan middle school teacher was suspended for the same offense. That suspension was lifted after a protest by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“This level of intolerance and fear is still very active in America, but at times is not completely visible,” Macklemore wrote on his website. “This incident is just one of tens of thousands that have happened across the country where schools have exposed a latent homophobia, preventing safe space for all young people to feel confident in being themselves.”
He said he wrote the song “not with the expectation that it would cure homophobia and lead to marriage equality across the US (although that’d be awesome). It was written with the hope that it would facilitate dialogue and through those conversations understanding and empathy would emerge.”
“Same Love” won the 2013 MTV Video Music Award for best Hip Hop video with a social message last month.
Alan Duke and Joe Sutton | CNN