Aliso Niguel High School won a nation-wide competition to win a $10,000 donation plus a performance from the rap duo on campus, but parents concerned about lyrical content had shut it down.
Following a successful protest conducted by outraged students, officials at an Orange County high school have announced that they will not be blocking hip-hop stars Macklemore and Ryan Lewis from appearing at the campus, reversing an earlier decision.
Students at Aliso Niguel High School had been disappointed earlier this week, when school principal Deni Christensen announced on Monday (October 12th) that it had turned down a $10,000 donation by online textbook rental company Chegg and an appearance by the rappers because some parents had expressed concerns about the lyrical content of the Seattle duo’s songs.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will be performing at the O.C. high school after all
Last week, students were delighted to discover that they had won a national competition run by Chegg to have the rappers perform at their school as well as the donation to their music program, but that excitement was squashed when some parents cited the duo’s alleged lyrical themes of alcohol and drug use and misogyny.
However, a compromise was quickly reached, allowing students to attend the after-school appearance on December 17th, but only with a permission slip signed by their parents.
A spokesman for Chegg applauded the students’ vision and courage in organising to make their protest heard. “We have a lot of admiration for these students,” Chegg's CEO Dan Rosensweig said in reaction to the good news.
“After careful consideration of varying viewpoints on all sides of the issue surrounding a possible visit by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, it is my hope that we have developed a plan that will meet the needs of our diverse students,” said principal Christensen in a prepared statement on Wednesday.
“In recognition of our students‘ efforts in winning this contest, and a desire to provide students the option of hearing a presentation regarding the music industry, the importance of music education and the arts, along with a Q & A session with the two artists, we will be holding this event after school hours in December.”
For their part, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been supporting gay rights and anti-drug messages in their more recent music, both on their own and in collaboration together.