Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus's "Rainbowland" Banned from Wisconsin School Concert

Administrators were concerned about whether the song was "appropriate" for children

BY Allie GregoryPublished Mar 29, 2023

Administrators at a Waukesha, WI, elementary school have banned Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus's "Rainbowland" from the latter's 2017 album Younger Now from being performed by first-graders in a school concert because they considered it too "controversial" for the classroom.

Superintendent James Seber told Fox6 that the school board was concerned "whether it was appropriate for the age and maturity level of the students" and the worried about the "social or personal impacts" on the children, citing the school board's policy against discussing "controversial issues" in class.

The song's lyrics are relatively innocuous, with Cyrus and Parton dreaming up a land of acceptance with lyrics like: "Wouldn't it be nice to live in paradise / Where we're free to be exactly who we are / Let's all dig down deep inside / Brush the judgment and fear aside / Make wrong things right / And end the fight."

"My students were just devastated. They really liked this song and we had already begun singing it," said Heyer Elementary School first-grade teacher Melissa Tempel, who chose the song because its message seemed "universal and sweet" [via Associated Press]. "These confusing messages about rainbows are ultimately creating a culture that seems unsafe towards queer people."

Administrators had reportedly also initially cut "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppets, but later reversed their decision on that particular song.

Listen to the offending track below.

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