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Name: Sandy Richards
Occupation: music teacher, Cherry Knoll Elementary School
Last Seen: Traverse City, MI
Bee-otched For: censoring the gay away
Once again, my old hometown of Traverse City is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.---
One of the Cherry Capitol's elementary schools got into deep hot water recently when its music teacher decided to re-write part of a classic 16th century Christmas carol that's been sung by generations of children. The msuic teacher at Cherry Knoll Elementary decided to omit the word "gay" from "Deck the Halls" because her 1st and 2nd graders were laughing when the lyrics "don we now our gay apparel" were laughing hysterically when the line came up.
So, she re-wrote it as "don we now our bright apparel".
The changing of the tune angered many in the community and it's even making national headlines, at least on The Huffington Post and - you guessed it - PerezHilton.com. Without a shadow of a doubt, many posters of websites such as UpNorthLive.com - the shared website of co-owned NBC and ABC affiliates WPBN and WGTU - have barged on the topic. A whopping 79% of the website's readers agree that it was a bad decision on the teacher's part to censor the lyric, especially since the song is so old.
Of course "Deck the Halls" was written in a time when the word "gay" meant "happy". Heck, remember The Flintstones? "We'll have a gay 'ol time"? As late as the 1960's, "gay" meant "happy". But now, "gay" means "homosexual" and many - especially young, impressionable children - associate "gay" with "stupid".
Most media outlets - like WPBN - haven't revealed the name of the song-censoring teacher (although they showed her door, complete with her name on it), but gee, there's a little-known website called Google that has led us to the Cherry Knoll website, where we learned that their only music teacher is a sad, pathetic soul named Sandy Richards, and her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even call her at 616-933-7950.
Tragically, that's all we know about her.
Well, after the negative publicity regarding the censoring of "gay", the school has given Mrs. Richards a nice little slap on the wrist and has put that nasty 'ol word back in the song, just in time for the yearly Christmas concert. There's no word as to what punishment Richards was given.
Look, if I were Mrs. Richards, I would give the children a little lesson on the song. I would tell them that "gay" means "happy". I know, it's tough to teach small children an embarrassing and taboo subject like homosexuality, but if that comes to that, so let it be. If Mrs. Richards wanted to take the song out altogether, that would have been a wise choice, too.
<southpark reference>If worse comes to worse, I hear that Philip Glass is available.</southparkreference>
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