Melissa Tempel, a first-grade teacher, was dismissed by a school board in Wisconsin on Wednesday, following her attempt to incorporate "Rainbowland," a song by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, into a concert last March.
"Rainbowland" portrays an imaginary world where unity and peace are prevalent.
Backlash arose within the Waukesha-area community surrounding Heyer Elementary School after first-graders, who had prepared and practiced the song as part of a wider concert playlist, returned home disheartened due to the removal of the song from the performance.
In March, members of the Waukesha school board prohibited elementary school students from performing the song at a spring concert, considering it excessively contentious.
Local media outlet, WISN 12 News, received confirmation from Waukesha school district officials that Tempel was put on leave starting April 3.
Today I was fired for tweeting that first graders couldn’t sing Rainbowland by @MileyCyrus featuring @DollyParton. Tonight I have an achey breaky heart but tomorrow I’m gonna get up and keep fighting for what is right. Thanks for all the love! pic.twitter.com/aacAxAvDni
— The Rainbowland Teacher (@melissatempel) July 13, 2023
Superintendent James Sebert reportedly dispatched a letter in May to the Board of Education, advocating for Tempel's termination, as per information from WISN 12 News.
Tempel was required to attend a hearing with school authorities to deliberate on her potential dismissal.
Tempel's legal representatives stated that the educator's airing of frustrations on social media was a breach of board policy, due to her failure to first address her complaints with her superiors.
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