WAUKESHA — Waukesha County’s overwhelming blandness has never been up for debate. Once well known for being the birthplace of Les Paul and legendary healing waters, in recent years it has become synonymous with abundant wealth, “talk to your manager” haircuts, and taking away school lunch from poor children.
Sadly, this quickly narrowing worldview has begun to permeate its school districts as well.
Such is the case with recent events at Heyer Elementary: a school that not only lacks identity, but insists their student body does not have one either. After first grade teacher Melissa Tempel suggested her class sing “Rainbowland” by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus, she was put on administrative leave for crimes of moral turpitude.
In the wake of this decision, Wisconsin News Today’s Investigative Reporting Unit dove deep into the monochromatic rainbow that is the Waukesha School District and was shocked to learn that the administration and most staff have generated an entire “Most Offensive” playlist. Here are the top five offenders:
- Imagine, John Lennon
The former Beatle’s iconic song heralding brotherhood, a world without borders, and dreams of humanity’s oneness give hope to most people. When it comes to the Waukesha School District, however, the idea of peace on earth is as frightening as the one-time scourge of Nicolet National Forest — Slender Man. “Imagine all the people sharing all the world?” asks Physical Education teacher Richard Bartels. “In MY zipcode? I don’t like that.”
- That Creepy Nursery Rhyme from A Nightmare on Elm Street
While it’s fair to want to shield young children from terrifying horror movies, particularly ones where the antagonist is a known child murderer, the creepy nursery rhyme is banned districtwide more for the adults’ sake than it is to safeguard the students. “I don’t do scary movies,” says Principal Ellen Grimsby. “The scariest movie I’ve ever seen is the 1985 horror classic, The Care Bears Movie. Those laser beams haunt my dreams even to this day.” If children are caught even humming the rhyme, they’re sent home for the day per district protocol.
- This Is America, Childish Gambino
Between the stark imagery the music video contains, the slang they don’t understand, and the fact that they can’t rectify that the same nerd from Community could be so “street,” Childish Gambino has incurred the wrath of both the PTA and School District. The last thing Waukesha’s school officials want is to empower students and educate them on what happens outside the pallid borders of the wealthiest county in Wisconsin. “This isn’t WOKEkesha,” says local parent Karen Anderson.”If we continue to insulate our children from reality, we can continue to prosper and ensure our community isn’t tainted by the hip hop loving, blunt rolling riff raff the inner cities have to deal with. You know what I’m talking about.”
- Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen
District officials are hesitant to even discuss Queen, and have even gone as far to censor the word in history books referencing the British Empire for fear of normalizing the word in their impressionable students’ young minds. Lead singer Freddie Mercury being bisexual is another point of contention that helped land the song on the list, but that’s not the only reason. Seeking to prevent any white teenage boys from having having to wear glasses to appear less threatening before a rape allegation “ruins their lives,” the song was selected as offensive for promoting rape culture.
- Fruit Salad, The Wiggles
Who doesn’t love a bunch of men with exotic accents? Waukesha’s School District, that’s who. “All those men in brightly colored suits? We all know what they’re talking about when they encourage kids to eat salad,” says Henry Peters, a substitute teacher that recently relocated from Utah. “This one is simply too gay.”
A source close to the Waukesha School District Parent Teacher Association who would only discuss the controversy on the basis of anonymity reports that drafts of a petition to ban “Unicorn Cupcakes” from bake sales and birthday parties on school premises have been circulating as well.