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Brooklyn LE - City Chancellor Dennis Walcott behind principal's decision on replacing "God Bless the USA" with Justin Beiber song

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 11th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

PS 90 Principal Greata Hawkins is not letting the students sing Lee Greenwood's ballad "God Bless the USA" because it's not "age appropriate." The sad thing is, City School's Chancellor Dennis Walcott is behind Hawkins' decision.

BROOKLYN, NY (Catholic Online) - "It's her judgment to make that decision," Walcott said in response to Hawkins' decision to not sing the ballad. "It's important to reinforce that they start out the morning every day of the school year with the Pledge of Allegiance and 'America the Beautiful,' and that, to me, is what this country is about, and they celebrate that, and that's how we should start our day. You have to really wonder about some of the lyrics in the song, so I have to rely on the principal's judgment along that line."

The lyrics to "God Bless the USA" were considered "inappropriate" for the 5-year-old students. Some of the staff, who are behind the principal's decision, didn't want to "offend the other cultures." Yet, the song on the playlist to replace the ballad for the opening ceremony is teen artist Justin Bieber's song "Baby," which is about teenage romance.

Parents and teachers who are furious over Hawkins' decision made a Facebook page demanding her dismissal.

"If the DOE has any brains they should remove her tomorrow,'' said one angry anonymous staffer in a posting. "We were the victims of 9/11. It hit New York really hard. That song became famous because of that tragedy. Removing that song is horrific. It's opening the wound again."

Hawkins could not be reached for comment.

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