The principal of a public elementary school in New York City decided to pull the song “Proud to be an American” from the school's kindergarten commencement ceremony and replace it with Justin Bieber’s “Baby” so as not to “offend other cultures."
Principal Greta Hawkins ordered a CD playing Lee Greenwood's song to be shut off at a ceremony rehearsal, staffers told the New York Post. “We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as explaining.
Now Congressman Michael G. Grimm (R,C-S.I/Brooklyn) is blasting Hawkins for her decision.
“I am outraged that NYC’s Department of Education is standing by the decision of PS 90’s principal to pull the song ‘Proud to be an American’ from the upcoming kindergarten ceremony, for fear of offending other cultures," he said in a statement. "The fact that the principal nixed the performance of this patriotic, G-rated song while permitting an inane and age-inappropriate Justin Bieber song about teenage romance only underscores my concern about the skewed views being forced on these students."
“The only thing offensive about any of this is the anti-American message being engrained in our youth," Grimm continued. "We all should be proud to be American and we should never ever apologize for it!"
Hawkins' move also stunned some parents.
“A lot of people fought to move to America to live freely, so that song should be sung with a whole lot of pride,” Luz Lozada, whose son, Daniel, is in kindergarten there, told the Post.
She said the song had been sung at previous school events, including her son's fifth-grade graduation last year.
“Everybody applauded and whistled,” the mom said. “They gave it a standing ovation.”
Rep. Grimm said replacing Greenwood with Bieber sent a bad message to kids.
“When a Justin Bieber song is deemed an appropriate substitute for a song about patriotism and love of country, what message are we sending our youth?" he said. "It's time we stop letting our political correctness destroy our values and American traditions, and start embracing the exceptional people and cultures that make our country great. God Bless America.”