questionsdoes this school principal have a right to pull…


In America it is a constitutional right to not be offended. Makes sense to me! (just kidding of course) But I'm convinced most people would believe that.


To me it's inappropriate, jingoistic, and just plain not a good piece of music. But offensive? Nah.


Time to change the principal.


What happened to the time when people sucked it up and dealt with it? Instead of getting offended every time some one coughed in public. Meh. Now get off my grass!


As someone who has worked in education for the last 13 years, I understand why she would not want to include it. As for including "baby", I do not understand that. Besides it being annoying, it just does not seem like it would be a proper song to be played at a ceremony like this.


Actually, I would be offended. I don't believe in a god and I don't want my kids being taught that there is a god. A song like that, or God Bless America, is a tacit endorsement that there is a god, and that is not the role of public education. Schools may teach that most people do in fact beleive in a god, and what the differences between various religions are, but it is not the role of the school to tell kids that a god exists, whether through instruction, song, art or other means.


@jseureau: And The Flying Spaghetti Monster loves you too.


the article doesn't say which version she pulled. people are generally less bothered by the abridged version then by the full traditional lyrics.

yes, the principal has the right to pull the song. she can make a program change in a kindergarten graduation. no idea how that qualifies as banning. is there some century old tradition of God Bless America being sung at kindergarten graduations that they failed to mention?? and i didn't hear anything about the kids not being allowed to sing it on their free time, so the use of the word ban is more than a little liberal here. it's a program change.

considering what she substituted in it's place, I'm wondering what she was thinking. she had to know it would be controversial, so I can't figure out adding justin beiber's baby to the mix. song, not scandal.
if you're going to do something with a hint of controversy everything else has to be and appear above board, including your reasoning. she undermined herself in every possible way


@xarous: you can't keep kids sheltered, but there's a difference between what they pick up, and what they get taught by authority figures, people you've taught them to trust and listen to.

encouraging the kids to go to the potty between classes is good as long as they can still go when they need to. choosing a different song--fine. kindergarten graduation is a little silly IMO, but it's cute.
but choosing a song that's inappropriate for both the age and the occasion is not ok. people definitely need to cool it reaction wise, but a principal of a elementary school should have a good idea of what is and is not appropriate age wise and occasion wise for students of various grades and if they lack that basic understanding, they probably shouldn't be doing the job because they're ill equipped.


@xarous: and while age inappropriateness is obviously the more severe issue, the fact that the principal can't judge to occasion properly says something about her ability to judge appropriateness in general

aside from the fact that I wouldn't want someone in charge of school who couldn't seem to tell when to wear sweatpants and t-shirt and when a suit (it's as noticed by the article a public position, and one that should be a good influence on the students), students learn a lot of this in elementary school

schools host several functions throughout the year--children both participate and attend and are told by teachers and the principal when they have to dress better, when they should dress down, when it's important to practice what you're going to say or speak really politely. the principal is a guide of this and important in terms of guiding these functions and teaching the children to respect themselves and what they're doing. which doesn't happen if the principal won't or can't.


@xarous: Huzzah for his noodly eminence!


No, you shouldn't feel guilty expressing that you're in/an American, but neither should anyone else have religion of any kind forced on them. How about singing the national anthem as a patriotic song? Why isn't that good enough?


@okham: The Star Spangled Banner is not exactly an easy song to sing; the thought of listening to five year olds sing it makes my ears curdle.

(Okay, the thought of a kindergarten "graduation" makes my brain curdle: my friends' kids have been wearing caps and gowns, receiving diplomas tied up with ribbons. Bridging ceremony? Sure! We had a bridging ceremony between second and third grade, when we moved from the lower elementary school building to the upper elementary school building, and again at the end of eighth grade; they were nice rituals to mark a transition. But a kindergarten "graduation"? Really?!?)

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be sitting on my front lawn, muttering at the kids and rabbits, telling them to shoo.


@anoted: Not to sound rude, but why was I tagged in all that? I am sure you had terrific valued points, but I fail to see how they were directed at me. I made a generalized statement about the public in general. shrugs


Just for clarification, the lyrics to the song she chose not to use.
The song in question is not "God Bless America."

While I'm not particularly fond of "God Bless the USA" from a musical point of view, I actually don't think it's any worse than most patriotic songs and better than some for K students. I'm still very partial to America the beautiful but that one is tricky for Kindergartners. Baby by Bieber is a whole 'nother story. YIKES!


And another thing, the quotations from those letters were HORRID! Way to link patriotism with bigotry/ demagoguery instead of informed debate.


I have a confession to make as one who was raised in a patriotic, military family & married a military man as well. I came out to him awhile back about this & was surprised & relieved he felt the same way. I do not, nor have I EVER, liked Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA." In fact, given the chance, I will change the channel or shut off the radio just not to hear it.
Something about it and the goofy, hands-raised-to-the-sky of the listeners smacks of a "feel good/let's all be patriots because it's the IN thing now" falseness. I've suffered through renditions at so many functions, both military & civilian, inwardly eye-rolling. Yeah, wave your hands in the air. Slap a magnetic ribbon on your car. Where were you folks before our complacency was shaken? What do you actually do for America?
Why this song out of all of them out there makes me think these harsh thoughts is beyond me, but it does.
"America, The Beautiful" has lovely lyrics & used to be a school classic.


I side with @lavikinga on this one. "America the Beautiful" was a staple when I was in school years ago. As for the OP, yes, the principal should have to approve of the songs. The substituted choice? Poor.


It's funny how conservatives claimed President Obama was trying to "indoctrinate" kids into the liberal/democratic party simply by doing a televised speech to the kids in school. Wouldn't singing songs about god in school be an attempt to indoctrinate kids into the christian faith?

The school had the right (and good sense) to ban the song. You don't have to believe in an invisible man in the clouds to love your country and kids shouldn't be forced to "praise" the invisible man in the clouds through song. Keep the worship out of the public schools.


@xarous: oh it was the people dealing with it line. there's a difference between parents who really need to suck it up and deal with it--minor rule changes at school that are for the benefit of their coddled children and don't hurt anyone, not singing about god and country isn't harming their child's public education. yeah, people need to suck it up and deal with it.
but the "baby" thing should actually raise the hackles of parents because it's inappropriate

it's not a 3-alarm fire, call the school board, alert the media offense by any standard. but it's something that would warrant the attention of the PTA, and if the majority of the parents had an issue with their children singing Beiber at graduation, and the principal ignored their concern and didn't give reason, I'd go to a higher level

there's a difference between sucking it up, and ignoring actual problems, even if their minor in view of everything else in the world. that's why they were all @you. sorry


@ali1331: I'm now trying to backtrack and find the article I read earlier today where it said it was God Bless America. I sorta skimmed through the linked one, since I thought it was the same story (I'm guessing it is, just with errors).

I'm still trying to figure out where this women's head was. If you pull one song because you don't think it's appropriate shouldn't the song you replace it with be....appropriate.

I really don't think 5 year old's should be singing God Bless the USA or Baby or God Bless America. I think God Bless the USA is the most inappropriate, Baby has somehow managed to win for worst tune (which takes doing in this group) and I'm still uncomfortable forcing public school kids to sing God Bless America--even the short version. And it's still a bad song.

Maybe she hadn't actually heard the lyrics to the song and thought that since Beiber was popular with young kids and the song was named "Baby" that it was about/for babies?


@bsmith1: The song wasn't banned!!! People, please, get out a dictionary and look up what the word banned means. Then reread the story. Program change is different from BANNED.


Of course he was trying to indoctrinate the children. Why on earth would the President talk to kids if he wasn't able to turn them into commie-zombies and make them turn their parents for more votes. This is why we don't watch TV news or listen to talk radio. That's where the crazies come from. On all sides. Just turn it off. You'll be safe now.


The national anthem is painful to listen to--either the person can't sing it, or they can and feel the need to add random arpeggios into it for no apparent reason whatsoever. a group of kids, especially little kids? Um, no.

Also, the national anthem is kinda bloody. And not that great of a song. Now most national anthem's are bloody, through they tend to get bloodier in the later verses, the ones that aren't sung so much. And if it was good music, I wouldn't mind as much. I really like the Marseilles, despite the actual meaning of the lyrics.

But I wouldn't teach it to five year olds who know French. Granted, little kids tend to just mix the words together and not think about the meaning as they do with most things they hear with tunes from when they're very little. Then they get older, and actually realize what rock-a-bye baby means and get horrified. And yeah, they're cute putting their hands under their armpits instead of over their hearts. But I'd avoid it, if possible.