Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, February 4, 2014
An eighth grade English teacher in South Florida was recently slapped with a three-day suspension for distributing a class assignment that included the lyrics of a “raunchy, f-bomb-filled song” by rapper Lil Wayne.
The teacher, who has not been named by the school, gave students a copy of the rapper’s song “Six Foot Seven Foot” and asked them to underline the instances of figurative language in the lyrics, according to local NBC affiliate WPTV.
Among the lyrics of the controversial song are lines such as ”Never met the b*tch but I f*ck her like I missed her” and “If these n***as animals then I’ma have a mink soon.”
Wayne Owens, the principal of the Charter School of Boynton Beach, told the station that “students were having trouble grasping the concepts of literary devices such as: pun, simile, metaphor,” and that the teacher had been unsuccessful in teaching the literary devices through more traditional methods.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Many parents were furious when they learned what the teacher had assigned their students. “This is crazy. They shouldn’t be giving this to kids in school,” parent Vanessa Guzman told WPTV. “I’m uncomfortable reading any of [these lyrics],” she continued. “Who in their right mind would give kids something like this?”
The 31-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Dwayne Michael Carter, is arguably better known today for his various legal challenges than his music. Lil Wayne has earned a pretty lengthy rap sheet filled with charges of possessing illegal drugs and guns. Lil Wayne served time in 2010 at Rikers Island Federal State Prison in New York on weapons charges, and recently finished a three-year probation for a drug charge in Arizona.
According to AllHipHop.com, rap lyrics by Nas, 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. have previously been used as teaching tools at the university level.