Wisconsin School Bans Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton Song

Wisconsin School Bans Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton Song

by Anyu Ching

Living in a Rainbowland, everything goes as planned. In Waukesha — not so much.

Last week, a Miley Cyrus song was banned from being performed at an elementary school concert in Wisconsin. The song, which features Cyrus’ godmother and country icon Dolly Parton, is from Cyrus’ 2017 album Younger Now and celebrates peace and acceptance — two concepts that were allegedly deemed not appropriate by the Wisconsin school administration.

Melissa Tempel, a first-grade teacher at Heyer Elementary in Waukesha, Wisconsin, shared on Twitter on March 21 that “Rainbowland” was vetoed by her school’s administration for the school’s spring concert. The tweet also included a screenshot of the song’s lyrics, which include: “Wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise/ Where we’re free to be exactly who we are/ Let's all dig down deep inside/ Brush the judgment and fear aside.”

Tempel says she was told the song was banned because Cyrus “is controversial” or due to contentions surrounding Parton “and her beautiful drag queen followers.” However, the teacher stated in follow-up tweets that there was “[n]o reason given” by administrators and that a day after “Rainbowland” was vetoed, The Muppet Movie’s “Rainbow Connection” was also taken off the list for the spring concert.

Sarah Schindler, whose daughter is in Tempel’s first-grade class, told the Los Angeles Times that, following a recent “conservative flip” in the school board sparked by COVID-19, “teachers can’t have any kind of signage that could be deemed political” including the donning of rainbow paraphernalia.

An update was provided by Tempel after receiving numerous comments championing her “Rainbowland” defense — she informed supporters that “Rainbow Connection” was added back to the concert list thanks to the efforts of parents and the Alliance for Education in Waukesha. Cyrus’ song is yet to be unbanned.

“4 years ago we had an active diversity team,” Tempel added. “Now we are Florida.”

Photo via Getty/ CBS