Picked by a South Florida 8th grade English teacher as a means of deconstructing “examples of figurative language,” WPTV reports that Weezy‘s Carter IV jam, “6 Foot 7 Foot,” got said teacher suspended for three days following a decision to assign the song’s lyrics as homework.
Only in Florida really doesn’t apply, as this could have happened in anywhere America where parents want to shelter their kids from this thing called The Internet, though so goes the frustrations of The Charter Schools of Boynton Beach’s parental shapers of these young minds: “They shouldn’t be teaching this stuff in school for language arts. I mean, who in their right mind would give kids something like this?” posited parent Vanessa Guzman. While the school’s head master, Wayne Owens, tied a neat little conservative bow around the suspension decision with this statement:
The lesson was for students to learn to identify literary devices. The teacher had already introduced Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare. Students were having difficulty grasping the concepts of literary devices such as: pun, simile, metaphor, so the teacher used colloquial material. This material did not meet the school’s standards and was not approved. The teacher recognizes that it was totally inappropriate for a school assignment.
Now by no means am I aligning some of the gun-toting, cash grabbing, Napoleon complex misogyny diction of “6 Foot 7 Foot” with Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe. But as a vessel for understanding “language arts,” it is a shade of ugly-everything-wrong-American-Value to prohibit kids from analyzing something that they’re a Google click away from accessing, under the guidance of an adult who can explain how “black and white diamonds, fuck segregation” is more than a racial slur and what’s right or wrong with that.
I’m sure parents will probably say that that’s their decision, to be handled with their kids in their own homes, and that there are plenty of other “cleaner” songs to analyze with such an assignment. That’s cool, I hope you raise those sheeple well. Lyrics are scary when you don’t know what they mean.