Miley Cyrus And Dolly Parton's Song 'Rainbowland' Deemed Too 'Controversial' For Elementary School Performance

A beloved Miley Cyrus track was banned from being performed by an elementary school class concert in Waukesha, Wisconsin last week. Some fans have taken to Twitter to express their shock, as the song “Rainbowland” from Cyrus’ 2017 album Younger Now celebrates themes like peace, acceptance and unity. The track also features vocal and lyrical contributions from Dolly Parton, and as Paper Magazine notes, its concepts were allegedly deemed “not appropriate” by the Wisconsin school administration.

Melissa Tempel, a first-grade teacher at Heyer Elementary School revealed in a March 21st tweet that “Rainbowland” was vetoed by the school’s administration for its spring concert. She also uploaded a screenshot of the song’s lyrics, which include, “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.”

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Miley Cyrus And Dolly Parton’s Show “Rainbowland” Banned From Wisconsin Elementary School Performance

Tempel captioned her tweet, “My first graders were so excited to sing Rainbowland for our spring concert but it has been vetoed by our administration. When will it end?” She says that she was told the song was banned because Cyrus is “controversial” and due to contentions surrounding Parton “and her beautiful drag queen followers.”

In follow-up tweets, however, the teacher added that there was “[n]o reason given” by administrators and that one day after “Rainbowland” was vetoed, The Muppet Movie’s “Rainbow Connection” was also removed from her students’ spring concert song list.



In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Sarah Schindler, whose daughter is in Tempel’s first-grade class, explained that after a recent “conservative flip” in the school board sparked by COVID-19, “teachers can’t have any kind of signage that could be deemed political.” This, she says, includes wearing any rainbow paraphernalia.

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Teacher Gives Fans And Supporters An Update On Twitter

Tempel gave supporters on Twitter an update after receiving many comments that applauded her “Rainbowland” defense. She let followers on Twitter know that “Rainbow Connection” has since been added back to the concert list. This was thanks to the efforts of parents and the Alliance for Education in Waukesha. Cyrus and Parton’s song, however, is yet to be unbanned.

Fans headed to the app to express their “disbelief” and “frustration” with the news that a school banned the song to begin with, considering its peaceful and heartfelt themes. “Seems like a beautiful, loving song to me. What was the reason for denial? The rainbow represents LBGTQ+?” one user wrote as another added, “They fear children being educated about diversity but what they are teaching is hate, which turns into something ugly and dangerous.”


Another chimed in, “are you SERIOUSLY stopping children from singing a song about wanting a world without hate and hurt, and wanting to make a difference in their world for the positive,” as one other replied, “Guess it’s too much for kids to handle – being happy with and accepting of each other.”

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Cyrus & Parton Respond To The Banning With A Donation

In response to the banning of their song at the elementary school, Cyrus, 30, and Parton, 77, donated to Pride and Less Prejudice, an organization that provides LQBTQ-inclusive books to Pre-K through 3rd grade classrooms. This was announced via Twitter from Cyrus’ charitable foundation, Happy Hippie.

In 2017, Cyrus and Parton spoke with NME and detailed the true meaning of their song. “It’s really about if we could love one another a little better or be a little kinder, be a little sweeter, we could live in rainbow land,” Parton shared. Cyrus agreed, and noted that the lyrics refer to “different races and genders and religions.”