Five classes spent months learning the patriotic song [God Bless the USA], which skyrocketed in popularity after the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
It was to be the rousing finale of their musical show at the June 20 commencement. The kids, dressed up for their big day, would wave tiny American flags — which, as the lyrics proclaim, “still stand for freedom.”
But their principal Greta Hawkins banned the school from singing "God Bless the USA" at their graduation. She replaced it with Justin Bieber’s "Baby". She says they "don’t want to offend other cultures,".
This is not the first time that Hawkins has come under fire.
- staffers call her a "tyrant" and a "bully"
- she tried to end the tradition of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing "America the Beautiful" every morning"
- she called the school racist in 2010
- she declared: “I’m black. Your previous principal was white and Jewish. More of us are coming.”