PORTLAND, Ore. – An elementary school principal is barring a fifth-grader from wearing a Barack Obama mask in the school's talent show because parents have complained it's inappropriate.
Dru Lechert-Kelly, 11, hoped to dress presidentially and dance to a YouTube parody that features an Obama look-alike and a rap called "I Can Do Whatever I Like."
The skit features him in a navy blue suit, white shirt, red tie, black shoes and an Obama mask purchased at a costume shop — one like Obama himself once donned for a Saturday Night Live sketch. The choreographed routine rehearsed Thursday ends with Dru on the floor in the splits and was met with applause from students and teachers.
But some parents objected.
"I talked to the parents who are coordinating the talent show, and they feel it's inappropriate and potentially offensive," said Steve Powell, principal of Llewellyn Elementary School in Portland.
He declined to say specifically why it might be offensive. Dru's parents, Scott Lechert and Paul Kelly, suggest it's race.
"There was obviously no intent to harm here or really any possibility of offending anyone," Kelly said.
Dru said he didn't think performing without the mask was an option.
"If I don't have the mask," he said, "it's just some kid up there dancing around."