A Wisconsin teacher is on administrative leave after complaining that her school banned Dolly Parton's 'Rainbowland' from a student performance

  • A Wisconsin school district banned Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton's song "Rainbowland" in March.

  • A teacher who complained about the ban is now on administrative leave.

  • Melissa Tempel earlier told Insider that she spoke up because she "can't not say anything anymore."

A Wisconsin school teacher — who complained after her school district banned Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton's song "Rainbowland" from a school production in March — has been placed on administrative leave.

Melissa Tempel, a first-grade teacher at Heyer Elementary in Waukesha confirmed the development to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Thursday.

In March, school administrators refused to allow Tempel's students to sing "Rainbowland" — which is about acceptance and love — at a recent school production because it was "too controversial."

Tempel took to Twitter in the aftermath of that decision to vent about how the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ policies across the country had now taken root in her Wisconsin community.

Tempel declined to comment when reached by Insider on Saturday. But she previously told Insider that she decided to speak up because she just "can't not say anything anymore."

"And if I have to lose my job, then at least I'll be able to sleep at night knowing that I stuck up for kids," Tempel told Insider.

Superintendent James Sebert did not return Insider's request for comment on Saturday, but he confirmed to the Journal-Sentinel that Tempel was on leave. In an email to the newspaper he called  Tempel's situation a "personal matter," which is "confidential in nature."

According to the Journal-Sentinel, Sebert said in March the district's decision to ban "Rainbowland" was based on "whether it was appropriate for the age and maturity level of the students" and due to "social or personal impacts" on children.

The Wisconsin Education Association Council, a teacher's union, did not immediately return Insider's request for comment. A local parent group, the Alliance for Education in Waukesha, said in a statement that it is disappointed to learn that Tempel was put on leave.

"Now Waukesha is a national laughingstock and the blame for that falls squarely to the feet of the district's leadership, not those who have the courage to hold them accountable, like Ms. Tempel," the group said in the statement.

The group called on the school district to "take accountability" for the negative national attention the district has received since it banned "Rainbowland," and that Temple should return to the classroom.

"It is time for Ms. Tempel to be returned to her students and for the district to take accountability for starting this mess in the first place simply because they wanted to keep rainbows out of a first-grade classroom," the statement read.

The school board took public comments from two dozen people for an hour at a meeting last week, when some spoke in support of Tempel and others took the side of the district, the Journal-Sentinel reported.

Sarah Schindler, whose daughter is in Tempel's class, said her daughter used to be happy to share what she learned at school, but now doesn't have the same enthusiasm with Tempel absent, the paper reported.

"My daughter's growth and love of learning this year is because of Melissa Tempel," Schindler said at the meeting.

Read the original article on Insider