Here's a question for all you parents out there: where would you rather have your kids hear curse words? In a classroom run by a good teacher who's using them in service of a larger idea? Or everywhere else? If you went with the first choice, you're probably not the mom or dad who ratted out their kid's teacher for exposing his students to dangerous rap lyrics.
An educator at Spokane's Shadle Park High School -- thought to be, but unconfirmed as, popular English teacher Brad Read -- has been put on paid administrative leave after he passed out the words to "Commencement Day," local hip hop duo Blue Scholars' indictment of the educational system. Here's a sample of the lyrics with the bad word helpfully pointed out for you (and a video below):
It goes one for the student who refuses to submit
And two for the teachers who are underpaid as shit
It's the next generation of miseducated youth
Who demonstrate the truth and manage to make it through
It goes three for the strikes giving young bloods life
And four for the years you spent stifled inside
It's the next generation of miseducated youth-next time ask em for proof.
Did you see it? It was "shit." Or, as the Spokesman-Review put it, the "profane term for defecation"?
Spokane Public Schools say the problem with "Commencement Day" isn't with the criticism, it's the bad words. Guidelines dictate that all teaching materials be approved first, something which Read failed to do.
It's an understandable bit of bureaucratic red tape. The district has to cover its ass in case one of its employees goes all Lenny Bruce on a biology class. But it still looks bad to single out a song that is, in part, about censorship in schools.