Parents Upset After ‘God Bless the USA’ Taken Out Of Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony At Coney Island School

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ps-90-brooklynBrooklyn, NY – Parents from P.S. 90 on Coney Island are speaking out after learning that a popular patriotic tune has been pulled from the school’s kindergarten graduation.

Five-year-old Daniel Mitchell has been practicing Lee Greenwood’s ballad “God Bless the USA” for weeks in anticipation of his kindergarten graduation.

But the song has now been banned from the ceremony and taken off the program. Among the songs taking its place is a pop tune by a teenage pop star.

Parents said they aren’t getting any answers from teachers or administrators as to why “God Bless the USA” won’t be a part of the graduation ceremony as originally planned.

“I don’t think this is right, we should be proud of America,” said parent Sandra Leon. “We should be able to sing it proudly, especially after 9/11 and I don’t think it’s fair to the children.”

Parents are blaming the last-minute switch on Principal Greta Hawkins, who reportedly said that the decision was made because “we don’t want to offend other cultures.”

Since then, parents have been lashing out and a Facebook page has even been launched calling for her termination.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is standing by the decision and said there is plenty of patriotism with kids starting each school day with the “Pledge of Allegiance” and “America the Beautiful.”

“If that’s the decision she made, she’s the principal and she’s going to make the best decision for the school,” said parent Rachel Richards.

CBS 2 reached out to Hawkins and the Department of Education, but neither have returned calls for comment.

The kindergarten graduation at P.S. 90 is scheduled for next Wednesday.

{CBS Local/ Newscenter}


  1. I SUPPOSE serving a knish would offend because its a Jewish thing. I suggest those that are offended be kind enough to take an
    international trip to disney land in somalia

  2. “we don’t want to offend other cultures.”

    What does that mean?! Isn’t this America? This is all Obama/Holder. Greta Hawkins is black & she has to stand with the Brother in the White House, who HATES America! What a disgrace!

  3. At an annual shul dinner last night in Riverdale we started the program with “The Star Spangled Banner” and ended with “Hatikvah”.


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