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Rantz: Seattle teacher caught playing vulgar song to middle schoolers

Matthew Kirshman is a Language Arts teacher at Jane Addams Middle School in North Seattle. He plays music for students as they're either working or transitioning between classes. But the music has been incredibly vulgar. (Photo: screenshot)

A Seattle middle school teacher was caught playing vulgar, inappropriate music to his students, according to a source. This reportedly wasn’t the first time. And at least one family complained.

The Language Arts teacher at Jane Addams Middle School in North Seattle plays music for students as they’re either working or transitioning between classes. It is a meaningful gesture on paper, but in practice shows a significant lack of judgment.

According to a source who recorded the incident on a cell phone, the music selected in the last several weeks has grown more caustic and vulgar.

Watch here (Warning: vulgar language included).

Vulgar music to 8th graders

The secretly recorded incident was sent to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH from a remote session in May. Students were readying for a class on why classic stories like Cinderella have been retold many times.

Before class started, the teacher played at least one song, “Rät,” by independent singer/songwriter Penelope Scott. The song was inspired by an Elon Musk meme and Scott described the song as a “breakup letter to the tech cult that is Silicon Valley.” Like most breakups, this one was emotional for Scott. It’s likely why she drops so many F-bombs.

The lyrics include:

‘Cause we’re so f***ing mean, we’re so elitist, we’re as f***ed as any church
And this bulls**t west coast dogma has a higher f***ing net worth

So, f*** your tunnels, f*** your cars
F*** your rockets, f*** your cars again

I loved you, I loved you, it’s true
And sometimes I feel like I still f***ing do

According to a source, the teacher has repeatedly played vulgar music like this to his students.

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Very questionable judgment

Seattle Public Schools did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Neither the teacher nor his principal responded either. I wish they had. I was hoping they’d, at the very least, say the music was chosen and played by someone else. Maybe the teacher stepped out when the rogue playlist hacker took over!

This is alarming. What reasonable person finds this is appropriate for middle schoolers? You wouldn’t show an R-rated film in class, so you should be smart enough to forgo the R-rated music. If the intent is to be the “cool” teacher, Penelope Scott isn’t the right choice either.

This may seem like a small issue: so what? These kids were exposed to vulgarity they probably hear in movies or on Spotify. But that’s not quite the point. Teachers are trusted to use sound judgment when taking care of other people’s children. If parents can’t trust a teacher on a playlist for students, what else are they being exposed to in the classroom?

Next year, students return to the classroom. Parents won’t have easy access to find out what teachers are saying to their kids. They won’t have the opportunity to film an errant lesson plan, obvious indoctrination, or a moron playing annoying, vulgar whiner-rock to children.

Parents need to start developing better strategies to ensure they grasp what teachers are exposing their kids to. Would a parent even think to ask their kid if their teacher is playing R-rated music?

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

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