The Dolly Parton song was not permitted at the elementary school concert.

After many of the songs she chose for her pupils’ spring musical, which had a rainbow theme, were disallowed, a Wisconsin first-grade teacher is speaking out.

The School District of Waukesha County was criticized on Tuesday by Melissa Tempel, a dual language instructor at Heyer Elementary, for its decision to prohibit the songs “Rainbowland” by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton and “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.

To the delight of my first-graders, our management turned down their request to perform “Rainbowland” during our spring concert. What time will it end? Tempel sent out a tweet.

According to the school’s Difficult Topics in the Classroom policy, James Sebert, the superintendent of Waukesha, and the administrator of the central office “decided that the song could be judged problematic.”

A subject is deemed controversial by the policy if “opposing points of view have been promulgated by responsible opinion; may be the subject of intense public argument, disagreement, or disapproval; may have political, social, or personal impacts on students and/or the community; and is likely to arouse both support and opposition in the community.”

Tempel claimed that the song’s removal off the radio was due to Cyrus, 30, being “contentious,” but she “felt for sure” that Parton’s standing with drag queens and the LGBTQ community also played a part in the decision.

Oh well, even if they continue to sing “Rainbowland,” I can’t stop them. It’s a charming, enjoyable song! She did not flinch.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise, where we are free to be who we truly are?, as the song “Living in a Rainbowland” goes? The words to their 2017 joint effort, which can be found on Cyrus’ sixth studio album Younger Now, were also made public by Tempel.

“Let’s all dig down deep inside / Brush the judgment and fear aside,” the song goes, “put the bad things right and end the conflict because, as I swear, no one will win.”

In a status update on Thursday, Tempel stated that “Rainbow Connection” had been permitted to continue as a result of input from parents and the neighborhood Alliance for Education. In her letter, she stated, “I don’t know where I’d be without them.”

In a statement to PEOPLE, Alliance for Education representative Becky Gilligan claims that “this is the most recent action by a school district administration intent on suppressing the diversity and denying equity to the community it serves, further ostracizing Waukesha in the eyes of the nation.”

During the concert, “Rainbow Connection” will perform in place of “Rainbowland,” according to Sebert.

Sarah Schindler, whose daughter attends Tempel’s class, asserts that the school board recently undergone a “conservative flip” as a result of public criticism regarding COVID-19 requirements.

According to Schindler, “with it came some policy changes that have been causing some controversy in our community.” One of them is a contentious rule prohibiting instructors from putting any signage that might be interpreted as political. Pronoun conflict involving children was another issue that came up. Additionally, instructors are not permitted to dress in rainbow colors.

The School District of Waukesha claims that it “does not discriminate in its admissions, programs, activities, services, or employment” on any grounds that are forbidden by federal law, and specifically lists “sexual orientation” as one of the protected categories in its nondiscrimination policy.

Following the passage of H.B., some states, notably Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1557, often known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, into law in March of last year, made it unlawful for professors to discuss issues of sexual orientation and gender identity with their students.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, a record-breaking 340 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation were being introduced countrywide for 2023 as of last month.

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