Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story” Lyrics Cause Controversy at Virginia School
Slick Rick's "Children's Story," off his 1988 album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, is a classic hip-hop song, but it's not very appropriate for a classroom of children. A substitute teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Suffolk, Va. disagreed, having some sixth grade students recite lyrics from Rick the Ruler's memorable hit.
The lyrics in the rapper's song have much to do with robbery ("He robbed another and another and a sista and her brotha/Tried to rob a man who was a D.T. undercover"), including pointing a gun at a pregnant woman ("Grabbed a pregnant lady and pulled out the automatic/Pointed at her head and he said the gun was full o' lead").
This outraged a parent named Ashley Ehrhardt, who contacted 13News Now about the unexpected addition to her child's curriculum. 13News reached out to Suffolk Public Schools for a comment on the situation, and a spokesman said the problem had been addressed.
"A parent contacted the JFKMS principal on Friday (Dec. 16) concerned about the passage some sixth-grade teacher had used earlier in the week," Suffolk Public Schools Public Information Officer Bethanne Bradshaw said in a statement. "The principal met with those teachers to discuss how it was inappropriate, and they agreed it should not have been used during the lesson. School administrators will more closely monitor their lesson plans, supplemental materials, and assignments. SPS encourages teachers to be creative, but they are also expected to exercise a high degree of professional judgment in their selection and use of supplemental materials, to ensure that the use of such materials serve to both support and complement the lesson. The principal will be sending a letter home to parents as well."
The work of Slick Rick, who graced the stage with Yasiin Bey last night in New York, is certainly worth studying, but it's a better fit for high school or college students.
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