NEW YORK – The controversial elementary school principal that nixed a patriotic anthem in favor of a Justin Bieber song at kindergarten graduation ceremony has decided to not allow the pop star's ballad either, The New York Post reports.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg along with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced at a Monday press conference that PS 90 in Brooklyn will no longer sing Justin Bieber's "Baby" at the school’s June 20 kindergarten graduation ceremony.
School Principal Greta Hawkins raised outrage after The New York Post reported Sunday that she had decided Lee Greenwood’s patriotic “God Bless the USA," was inappropriate for the ceremony, but was allowing the pop star's flirty song about teenage romance.
However, Walcott says Hawkins has decided not to allow the Bieber song either, though he says no city officials pressured her to do so.
“Now as far as Justin Bieber, I understand some of the issues people raised," he said, according to The New York Post. "It’s my understanding that song will not be part of the ‘moving up’ ceremony as well . . . I support our principals along that line.
However, the officials made no indication Hawkins planned on reinstating the Greenwood song, which Hawkins nixed because she reportedly "did not want to offend other cultures."
Her decision raised outrage among both local lawmakers and parents, including Congressman Michael G. Grimm (R,C-S.I/Brooklyn).
“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 only thing offensive about any of this is the anti-American message being engrained in our youth. We all should be proud to be American and we should never ever apologize for it!"
Some parents have started a Facebook petition to get the song reinstated at the ceremony.
“A lot of people fought to move to America to live freely, so that song should be sung with a whole lot of pride,” parent Luz Lozada told The New York Post.