'Cotton Picking' Song Leads To Controversy After Middle School Choir Performance

A middle school in Springfield, Ohio finds itself in the middle of a controversy, and that comes on the heels of another controversy that portrayed the community in a negative light. For the latest incident, a song that was performed by the Springfield Middle School left some parents up in arms.

As Fox News shares, the song entitled “Cotton Needs Pickin” hit the wrong notes as far as many observers are concerned.

Nicole Maulsby, a parent in the district, was at the performance, and she uploaded a video of it to social media. She says that her husband, who is black, got up and walked out of the auditorium as the students sang the song.

It was a short part of the performance, but many other parents and observers have questioned the wisdom of including the song in the choir’s repertoire.

“Cotton needs pickin' so bad, we're going'na pick all over this field,” the song lyrics say in part.

Springfield Schools Superintendent Matt Geha notes that the song comes from a collection of American folk music, but he’s aware of the criticism making the rounds.

“I know that timing can sound bad, but it's a historical component for what the choir department had to use for their curriculum,” he said.

Maulsby is pretty taken aback by the racial connotations from the song, and she shared some thoughts with the Toledo Blade.

“It's a little bit too close to the time of the n-word being used directly across the street in the parking lot,” Maulsby said.

Maulsby is referring to the other controversy that emanated from the district earlier this month. A group of students recorded themselves with a Confederate flag, and many users viewed the video as if it was some sort of rally. The dozen male students are affiliated with a Christian youth organization called Young Life, and there have been reports that their social media posting included racial slurs.

Radio host Charlie Mack is among those that is seriously scratching his head right about now, and he took to social media to share his thoughts.

“Come on Springfield. This is the song you sing just a week after the confederate flag issue?” he wrote.

As for Geha, he says that the choir teacher intended no harm by including the song in the performance. He’s obviously concerned that his district has had a pair of controversies in rapid succession, but he’s trying to seize the opportunity to improve communications throughout the community.

“I don't want anyone to have a poor impression of Springfield at all,” Geha said, “but when it comes to having all our children and adults work together and get to know each other, there's a lot of work we need to do.”

Fair enough, but it sounds like there are some serious judgement problems going on in the district, whether it be from students or teachers themselves. There seems to be a serious need for a refresher on what’s appropriate and what’s not, and we’ll hold out hope that Geha and company take that ball and run with it to get the message across.

Source: Fox News
Photos: Google, Xuan Shisheng/Wikimedia, Maryland Pride/Wikimedia, The Blade, Adam Jones/Flickr

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