Principal Causes Uproar By Banning Kindergarteners from Singing ‘God Bless the USA’ at Graduation
The principal at a Coney Island, NY elementary school is under fire from both parents and some members of the community after she banned the kids from singing Lee Greenwood's patriotic anthem 'God Bless the USA' at a kindergarten graduation.
But you won't believe what she says they can sing.
'God Bless the USA' was to be the finale at the ceremony, with the tots all waving tiny American flags. But when Greta Hawkins, principal of PS 90, got wind of the plan, she quickly pulled the plug.
Teachers said Hawkins initially told them she put the kibosh on it because she feared "offending other cultures,” but a Department of Education spokeswoman later said Hawkins found the lyrics “too grown up” for five-year-olds.
The song has been sung at previous graduation events with no complaints, and one parent said, "A lot of people fought to move to America to live freely, so that song should be sung with a whole lot of pride."
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that while Hawkins nixed the patriotic tune, she put her stamp of approval on Justin Bieber's 'Baby,' a flirty song about teen romance.
This isn't the first time Hawkins has caused an uproar. She's a Jehovah's Witness, and since the religion forbids saluting a flag, she's also tried -- and failed -- to end the kids' morning ritual of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.