A Coney Island principal has incurred the wrath of the NY Post by "[pulling] the plug on patriotism"—Greta Hawkins, principal of PS 90 the Edna Cohen School, won't allow kindergartners to sing the song "God Bless The USA" (aka “Proud To Be An American”) at their commencement ceremony. But she is OK with them singing Justin Bieber's "Baby." Can't we all just agree that both songs suck?
Other teachers told the Post Hawkins explained the reason for dropping the Lee Greenwood ballad as such: “We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as saying. Staffers also claimed that Hawkins tried to stop the kids from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing “America the Beautiful” each morning, which the Department of Education denies. DOE spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti said Hawkins just found the "God Bless The USA" lyrics “too grown up” for five-year-olds.
In addition to "Baby," Hawkins is also letting the kids sing scout song “We’re All Together Again,” diversity-celebrating “The World is a Rainbow;” Raffi's “Shake Your Sillies Out;" and Randy Newman's immortal classic “You’ve Got a Friend in Me." So not ALL the songs are unpatriotic paeans to waking up daily not needing no Starbucks.
Parents are expectedly upset: “A lot of people fought to move to America to live freely, so that song should be sung with a whole lot of pride,” said mom Luz Lozada, whose son, Daniel, is in kindergarten. And so are bloggers, including Rob of The Rhino Den, who labels Hawkins "the Principal of Education for the Grand Republic of Douchebagistan. Your tyrannical tendencies will traverse traditional teaching tactics, transforming your students into turds."