The playlist controversy


Music commonly finds itself at the pinnacle of the “hype” around a sports event at Miami Country Day School. As a member of the Varsity Girls Soccer Team, the music played during our pre-game warm-ups even became an ongoing joke between some of our teammates and I, as we believed hearing Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl” proved a good luck charm, which seldom proved truthful.

Upon students feeling dissatisfied with school-made playlists, a newfound ability for students themselves to make school playlists was born. However, the creation of these playlists doesn’t result in usage, as they must be approved by the school, prior to being played school-wide. Although many may deem this request a fairly normal demand in a school environment, others argue that the close regulation of music playlists may fall under the category of sensory.

Many feel as though the new playlist policy can be compared to not having the freedom to make your playlists at all. Although this is not the case, this policy allows for only a hand-selected amount of songs to be approved. The songs must go through a flow chart to ensure appropriateness, and then be approved by the GSA and CAUSE affinity groups at MCDS. Many feel that the songs that are often picked are “boring” and are not songs for an athletic setting at all. Songs currently deemed school-appropriate and enjoyed by the student body include Shop Boyz, “Party Like a Rockstar”, Miley Cyrus’s “Party In the USA”, and the Black-Eyed Peas “Pump It”. The songs currently on the playlists are enjoyed; however, there is a limited selection of songs to add to these playlists. Much of the criticism arises from the lack of rap and trap music represented on many of the school playlists. Many have even deemed this occurrence “discriminatory”; however, it all comes down to the appropriateness of the music played.

With a fair amount of criticism, there is also a fair amount of rationale in the regulation of the songs on these playlists.

Why would the school want to regulate playlists? Although there is fair criticism from the student body, the reviewing of these playlists is for the good of the student body. People who are focused on the comfort of Upper School athletes preparing to win a revered game, often lose sight of the small listening ears coming from the Lower School, that are likely to overhear whatever music is blasting for the elder-school community. Unfortunately, topics that are commonly sung about in popular Pop, Rap, R&B, and Country songs today, aren’t the best suited for the lower school community to hear, no matter how enjoyable the music may prove to the older portion of the school community.

The regulation of songs is also important for inclusivity, as many of our favorite songs can include offensive language and lyrics that could target and offend our peers, something that an inclusive school environment shouldn’t welcome.

Everyone will have a different perspective on the playlist policy at our school; however, we should all respect and embrace the policy to have a fun and safe school community! Think about it: is your favorite song appropriate for the school community?