NY Principal Pulls Patriotic Song, Wants to Avoid Offending Other Cultures

Sunday, 10 Jun 2012 10:46 AM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Admonishing teachers that she did not want to “offend other cultures,” Coney Island principal Greta Hawkins reportedly is refusing to allow students to sing "God Bless the USA" at a school moving-up ceremony later this month.

The New York Post reported on Sunday that Hawkins had no problem, however, with Justin Bieber's "Baby" for her school’s June 20 commencement.               

leegreenwood.jpg
Singer Lee Greenwood performs at the centennial birthday celebration for former US president Ronald Reagan in 2011.
(Getty Images)

The more patriotic song, also known as “Proud to be an American,” was to be sung by pupils waving American Flags at PS 90.

But after five classes spent months learning the song, Hawkins reportedly ordered a CD playing the Lee Greenwood hit to be shut off, the Post reported.

“A lot of people fought to move to America to live freely, so that song should be sung with a whole lot of pride,” Luz Lozada, whose son, Daniel, is in kindergarten, told the Post.

The Department of Education reportedly supports the principal’s decision, with spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti saying that Hawkins found the lyrics “too grown up” for children.

“The lyrics are not age-appropriate,” she said of the song, which gained popularity after the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq invasion.

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