NC teacher suspended for showing rap video supporting gay rights - WFLA News Channel 8

NC teacher suspended for showing rap video supporting gay rights

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A social studies teacher at a middle school in Taylorsville was suspended three days for showing eighth-grade students the rap video "Same Love," a song by Macklemore that promotes equal rights for gays, according to the Taylorsville Times.

The story sparked much debate in the small Alexander County town in  western North Carolina, and also became national news.

Alexander County school board attorney Joel Harbinson told CNN on Thursday, "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."

Macklemore's video includes a kiss between two men at a wedding altar and shows an elderly gay couple in a hospital.

The video was shown to students at West Alexander Middle School.

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Alexander County Schools Associate Superintendent Dr. Jeff Peal  told The Taylorsville Times, "At West Alexander Middle School, there was an inappropriate video shown in class, outside the bounds of the curriculum, that called for disciplinary action last week. That teacher will be back in school this week."

The news sparked many in the town to go to the Taylorsville Times' Facebook page to debate the matter. One parent wrote that his child is a student at West Alexander Middle School and was in class when the video was shown.

"My wife and I have raised and will continue to raise our daughter to remain unbiased of things of this nature," he wrote. "We also do our best to teach her right from wrong. There comes a time when my daughter will face reality in the real world. I want her to be prepared for what she will face. I want her to be able to think ‘critically' on her own.

"I personally watched the video in question and found it no more appalling than a young man walking down a school hallway or down a public street with his pants hanging down past his butt with his underoos hanging out for the world to see or guys at a football game in good old Taylorsville (yes our own town) holding hands."

Another wrote, "It's unfortunate the teacher got suspended for teaching on this matter. We don't have to agree with homosexuals or be homosexuals but they are part of our society in 21st century."

But on the other side, one woman wrote, "I think WAMS did the right thing with taking action! Call me narrow-minded but I think some of the ‘old' beliefs and morals were not so bad."

The school board lawyer would not tell CNN 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 told CNN. "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."

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