Hip-Hop In The Classroom As A Teaching Tool
Lil’ Wayne lyrics too harsh for school-aged children, parents say
When an eighth grade English teacher was suspended for three days for reportedly assigning her class an assignment that included explicit lyrics from rapper Lil Wayne’s hit song “6 Foot 7 Foot,” an outpour of mixed emotions and opinions ensued.
Authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare presented challenges for her students, so the teacher decided to use Lil Wayne, a popular artist they know in an effort to get the class to understand literary devices such as pun, simile and metaphor. However, most parents felt that presenting students with the material was absurd and inappropriate for school aged children, while a few understood the reasoning behind it.
What may be surprising is that Lil’ Wayne sides with the majority of parents, “I’d never be embarrassed by anything I say because I say it and I mean it, but I don’t think that kids—I mean, I don’t think that you should be trying to teach it any way to kids because I don’t record it and say it for kids to listen to it, but they will hear it. But it’s a difference between hearing and listening. You know? So, not that it’s okay for them to hear it, but if they hear it then so be it. They hear it. But when you trying to teach them to listen to it that’s a difference and
I don’t try to teach them that. I just—I do what I do. And I don’t think that would be right for you to try and teach kids what I’m saying,” expressed the rapper during his appearance on ESPN’s First Take.
Analyzing rap lyrics has become a part of some college level courses, but is hip-hop too much for school-aged classrooms? Was the school justified for suspending the teacher? Sound off.