An elementary school teacher who decided not to use the word “gay” in a “Deck the Halls” rendition for his first and second grade class has come under fire for his decision.
The music teacher from Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Traverse City, Michigan, was rehearsing for a Christmas concert with his young students, but they kept on laughing whenever the word “gay” was mentioned. To help them concentrate on singing the entire song, he changed the word “gay” to “bright” and had them sing “don we now our bright apparel,” shared Up North Live.
Some parents were infuriated by the choice, and they have gone on the school’s Facebook profile to voice what they deem as “censorship.” One user, Sara Connolly, said she believed it encouraged discrimination: “What a disgrace of a school. Honestly, teaching children in elementary school to discriminate? The word gay is not a dirty word. Just as straight is not a dirty word."
She also had comments about the real context of the word: “Besides, in the context of a song, the word is simply using its old fashioned meaning of ‘happy’ and ‘cheerful.’ It’s hate and fear filled adults (who should not be teaching children ANYTHING) who instantly thing of homosexuality when they hear that word.”
Another user, Joe Hedge, wrote: “I have sung in choirs in church, school and in my community and I have never been taught that there was something wrong with singing the word "gay" in a song. So, you think the teacher was being overly cautious. Cautious about what. Singing about "gay apparel." What do you think is meant by this lyric? Sure, kids giggle at words. I remember giggling at the song "Froggy went a courting and he did ride, un huh, un huh". All the teacher had to do was explain what the lyric meant.”
Some comments from the Facebook profile have been deleted, and the school said they would advise the teacher to put the word back into the lyric.