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Published On: Sun, Jun 10th, 2012

Coney Island School nixes ‘God Bless America’ but okays Justin Bieber

A controversial decision by a Coney Island principal to block the singing of “God Bless America” at the school’s graduation ceremonies is making headlines.

Photo/Yoland Hunter (U.S. Air Force)

The NY Post reports that Greta Hawkins, principal of PS 90, the Edna Cohen School, won’t allow kindergartners to sing the famed patriotic Lee Greenwood song at the ‘moving up’ ceremony.

The Post adds that five classes have spent months practicing the song and it was set to be the finale of their musical show at the June 20 commencement. The kids, dressed up for their big day, would wave tiny American flags.

Hawkins marched into a rehearsal and demanded that the CD be shut off and ordered the song to be dropped from the program.

“We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as explaining.

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

The song has been sung at previous school events. Last year’s fifth-graders, including another Lozada child, performed it at graduation.

“Everybody applauded and whistled,” the mom said. “They gave it a standing ovation.”

Department of Education spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti gave The Post an explanation staffers said they never heard — that Hawkins found the lyrics “too grown up” for 5-year-olds:

“If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life. And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife, I’d thank my lucky stars, to be livin’ here today.”

Scaperotti said the department supports the principal’s decision.

“The lyrics are not age-appropriate,” she said.

Justin Bieber’s flirty song about teen romance, “Baby,” was deemed a fine selection for the show. Hawkins had no problem with 5-year-olds singing lines such as, “Are we an item? Girl, quit playing.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. M. Fox.. says:

    This school official should be moved back to Nazi Germany.

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