Satire is a valuable method of criticizing and mocking pertinent issues. It can also inspire audiences to think critically — or at the very least, laugh a little. But sometimes, it can cross the line and offend people. In the midst of summer break, there is at least one English teacher, Cory Ray Steeves of Vancouver, British Columbia, who may be a tad more cautious as he prepares his lesson plans on the topic for the upcoming school year, as he seemingly went too far last fall trying to incorporate pop culture into his class.
Steeves was suspended without pay for five days after showing The Lonely Island‘s T-Pain collaboration, “I’m on a Boat” along with Duck Sauce’s “Big Bad Wolf” to his classroom of 10th graders. He did warn the students that it could be offensive, and gave them the option to leave the room if they felt uncomfortable. One student left the room, and no one else seemed to have an issue right away, but then a student complained. This led to the local Teacher Regulation Board getting involved and ruling that “I’m on a Boat” “consists primarily of profanity. The board also ruled against the suitability of “Big Bad Wolf” and of the sexual nature of its video, because it “depicts different people with human heads as their genitalia.”
Steeves served his suspension in December and took a course on professional boundaries.