In New York City, there are often moments that cause you to shake your head at the insanity of our public-school system. Last week, a Brooklyn principal banned kindergartners from singing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” at their graduation ceremony. (Let’s put aside the question of whether kindergartners should even have graduation ceremonies). The administrator, Ms. Greta Hawkins, declared the song “not age appropriate,” and replaced it with Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”
Today, New York City’s school chancellor, Dennis Walcott, supported her decision.
It’s her judgment to make that decision. . . .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 offensive lyrics in question?
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.
Principal Hawkins has been quoted as saying that those lyrics were offensive to other cultures.