Miley Cyrus peacefully turned the other cheek after her “Rainbowland” duet with godmother Dolly Parton was pulled from the lineup of a spring concert at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In a series of posts on Wednesday night (March 29) from the singer’s Happy Hippie Foundation — a non-profit that supports the LGBTQ community and homeless youth — the group announced that they are making a donation to a worthy cause in honor of the Heyer students.
“To the inspiring first grade students at Heyer Elementary, keep being YOU. We believe in our Happy Hippie heart that you’ll be the ones to brush the judgment and fear aside and make all of us more understanding and accepting,” read a tweet from the organization. A follow-up revealed that in honor of the students’ “BRIGHT future,” HH has made a donation to the organization Pride and Less Prejudice, which provides LGBTQ-inclusive books to pre-K through 3rd grade classrooms to help students and teachers “read out loud, read out proud!”
Earlier this week, a language teacher at Heyer called out the school’s administration after “Rainbowland” was reportedly nixed from the spring concert after the school’s leaders determined it was “could be deemed controversial.” Spokespeople for the school and district did not return Billboard‘s request for comment at press time, but Waukesha Superintendent James Sebert emailed a statement to Wisconsin Public Radio in which he said, “the question was around whether the song was appropriate for the age and maturity level of the first-grade students.”
The Cyrus/Parton duet about acceptance appeared on Miley’s 2017 album Younger Now. “Living in Rainbowland/ Where you and I go hand in hand/ Oh, I’d be lying if I said this was fine/ All the hurt and the hate going on here/ We are rainbows, me and you/ Every color, every hue/ Let’s shine on through/ Together, we can start living in a Rainbowland,” they sing on the song.
After “Rainbowland” was axed, the school’s music teacher replaced it with the Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection,” which was also initially banned, but later accepted after pushback from parents and Waukesha’s Alliance for Education. The language teacher who spoke out about the song flap, Melissa Tempel, told WPR that the district did not offer any specific reason for the ban, suggesting that the only common thread between “those two songs was the world ‘rainbow.'”
In a third post, HH posted some of the lyrics along with the message, “When our founder @mileycyrus and her fairy godmother @dollyparton wrote these words together, they meant it.”
See the Happy Hippie tweets below.