ALISO VIEJO (CBSLA.com) — Hip-hop artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will be welcomed at Aliso Niguel High School after all, school officials announced Tuesday. The news ended a heated campus protest and a spirited campaign by students.
Last week, students found out they had won an online contest sponsored by a textbook sales website, Chegg.com. The prize includes an appearance by Macklemore and Lewis on campus along with a $10,000 grant for the school’s Fine Arts department.
But some parents raised concerns about the content in the rappers’ lyrics that make reference to drug use. Consequently, school administrators nixed the artists’ visit and turned down the money.
Macklemore tweeted: “That’s disappointing.”
Upset over their school’s decision, students took to social media and launched an online petition.
“I am personally offended by their decision as it is based off outdated evidence and our leaders have failed to see all the amazing movements and messages these artists have focused on spreading over the past few years which would be beneficial to every student at our school,” Quinn Darling, the student body vice president wrote.
A petition was also started at Change.org. More than 6,000 people signed it within 12 hours.
On Tuesday, school officials announced they had reversed their position. The Grammy winners will visit the campus after school hours on Dec. 17 as scheduled. Students must have signed permission from their parents to attend.
“We have a lot of admiration for these students,” said Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg. “They beat every other high school and college in the country for the right to host this event and along with the artists, their administration, faculty, parents and community rallied around a positive message to create a great outcome.”
“No one was listening to the 3,000 students, and they just listened to the six parents. So, it’s awesome to know that they finally listened to our voices,” one student said.