September 8, 2010 in City

Shadle Park teacher on leave over hip hop song

From staff and wire reports
More online

• Lyrics to “Commencement Day,” by Blue Scholars. (Some profanity)

Interview with the song’s writer (KOMO).

A high school teacher in Spokane has been placed on leave for allegedly handing out the lyrics to a hip-hop song that criticizes the education system on the first day of school.

Spokane schools spokeswoman Terren Roloff said Wednesday the district was investigating the allegation. She said it was too early to say if the teacher, who was not publicly identified, will be punished.

On Thursday, the school district sent out a news release saying that the teacher will remain on paid leave until an investigation into the incident is complete. The profanity in the song’s lyrics was the issue, not the criticism of the education system, the release said.

Neither Roloff nor the release specified the song by the hip-hop group Blue Scholars, but the members of the Seattle duo said the song was called “Commencement Day.”

The song is an indictment of the education system, featuring several swear words.

The group said Wednesday on their Twitter account that it “recently got an email from a student in Spokane.”

“A teacher at Shadle Park HS was suspended for playing our song ‘Commencement Day’ in class,” the group tweeted.

Prometheus Brown, emcee for Blue Scholars, posted on his personal Twitter account that other students in the class contacted him and that he was going to “find out more info and find a way to support this fine educator.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: A previous headline on this story incorrectly stated that the teacher was suspended. The teacher is on paid administrative leave.

There are 22 comments on this story. Click here to view comments >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email