Local Music Teacher Sues After Elementary School Calls Song Racist

Land of the silver birch, Home of the beaver…

The words are familiar to generations of schoolchildren, trotted out with Ian Tyson’s Four Strong Winds and other Canadiana in elementary schools and summer camps across the country for decades.

Times have changed. Violet Shearer, a music teacher at High Park Alternative Public School, included the song in a school concert in May 2016. About two weeks later, after some parents allegedly expressed concerns, the school’s principal and vice-principal sent out an email to the entire school community denouncing the song, which they called inappropriate and racist. As reported in The Toronto Star, the email claimed, in part, “While its lyrics are not overtly racist…the historical context of the song is racist.”

Read more at: https://www.ludwig-van.com/toronto/2017/12/11/hot-take-local-music-teacher-sues-after-school-calls-song-racist/


Published by

Anya Wassenberg

Freelance writer & singer