The pre-Kindergarten class at P.S. 90 in Coney Island won’t have a song to sing at the graduation ceremony later this month.
Principal Greta Hawkins nixed the song “Stand Up For The Red, White, and Blue” from the June 19 pre-K graduation ceremony, the New York Post reports. This is the second patriotic song she’s banned from school celebrations.
The class of graduating 4-year-olds was practicing the song as they marched into the auditorium waving mini-American flags when Ms. Hawkins put a stop to the rehearsal. Pre-K teachers said Hawkins scolded them, and said “You didn’t ask permission to do it.”
Teachers defended the song and said parents cheered when they performed it at another pre-K graduation ceremony a few years ago.
“It’s a nice, rousing song,” one teacher said. “The parents got up and clapped and yahooed. The kids waved their flags, and it just got everything going.”
One Coney Island mom expressed her outrage when she found out Ms. Hakwins slashed the song.
“I’m angry about it,” she said. “It’s the American flag. What’s wrong with that? So many soldiers died for it. Why is she against the red, white, and blue?”
In an exclusive email to the Post, Hawkins stated that the ban has nothing to do with patriotism—it was simply not on the list of songs submitted by the staff.
“Teachers were reminded in meetings and in communiques not to add or remove from what was already approved weeks ago,” Hawkins wrote.
Hawkins also banned the little flags because they were unapproved “materials.”
When Hawkins banned the song “God Bless the USA” in 2012, she stated her reasons were because she didn’t want to offend other cultures. The school’s culturally diverse makeup include immigrants families from Mexico, Pakistan, India, Russia and elsewhere.
As of Friday, no new songs have been approved, and the pre-K students will have to march into their graduation ceremony in silence.