Suspension overturned for teacher who allowed Macklemore song

A Michigan school district has changed its tune about suspending a teacher for allowing a student to play Seattle rapper Macklemore's song about marriage equality in class.

Officials suspended Susan Johnson last week after someone complained she let a student play a YouTube video of "Same Love."

School officials had argued she broke the rules by not getting permission first. The district claims the song had controversial content described as "homosexuality, religion, politics views and a sexual slur." It features lyrics like "I might not be the same, but that's not important. No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it."

Now, the superintendent for South Lyon's Centennial Middle School has reversed Johnson's suspension and reinstated her pay (she was docked two days salary.)

"I am willing to not uphold the suspension, but the violation of the district practice regarding web-based clips and our expectations for instructions previewing materials under this will remain in writing," William Pearson told The Detroit News in a statement.

Johnson is relieved the three day suspension was overturned , but told Detroit's ABC 7 the ordeal has taken its toll.

"It's been really difficult to go to work every morning and have this hanging over me, this anxiety," she said.

In a previous statement on his blog, Macklemore criticized the district:

"This incident demonstrates how too often we are quick to silence conversations that must be had. Even if people disagree, there is far more potential for progress when people are vocal and honestly expressing their thoughts about gay rights. When we are silent and avoid the issue, fear and hatred have a far greater life span."

Josh Kerns,
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for
Top Stories

  • Delay Grows
    The latest estimate says the Seattle tunnel project won't be done until August 2017

  • Hazardous Lots?
    Shoppers say Northgate Mall parking dividers have caused unnecessary injury
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.