In what could certainly be called one of the more egregious instances of political correctness run amuck in recent memory, Greta Hawkins, the principal of P.S. 90 located in Coney Island, Brooklyn, has banned the singing of the Lee Greenwood song "Proud to be an American"at the moving-up ceremony for kindergarten students at the school.
In the United States where the practice and prevalence of politically correct behavior has spiraled out of control, the rationale for the decision that was provided by the principal and subsequently agreed to by the NYC Board of Education was that "we don't want to offend other cultures."
To that point the make-up of the students at the school includes families from countries including Mexico, Pakistan and Ecuador who, according to reports, have enjoyed hearing this song in the past.
An additional reason according to the BOE spokeswoman for the banning is that principal Hawkins found the lyrics of the song to be "too grown up" for this age group.
It's ironic then that the song "Baby" by Justin Bieber will be allowed in the show as the principal does not deem these lyrics to be "too grown up" for 5-year olds.
With so many songs out there that contain demeaning, racist or lewd lyrics and that should be banned from any school presentation regardless of the ages of the students, a patriotic song about the United States should never be one of them!
Lyrics from "Proud to be an American":
Lyrics from "Baby":
Lo and behold, looking a little bit deeper, there seems to be a bigger issue present here!
Perhaps this episode isn't purely about a question of PC run amuck, but a much larger issue that is whether Greta Hawkins should be allowed to be a principal at any school where she has the opportunity to influence the minds of children, particularly those who are in their most impressionable and formative years! Consider this:
"...Scaperotti noted PS 90 kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “America the Beautiful” each morning. Insiders say Hawkins tried to end that tradition a couple years ago but staff objected.
The principal, a Jehovah’s Witness, does not recite the pledge because her religion forbids followers to salute any nation’s flag. Staffers gripe she doesn’t stand in respect during the school-wide ritual.
The song uproar comes amid tensions. Hawkins has been called a tyrant and bully by some staffers.
The DOE reprimanded her in 2010 after teachers complained she called the school “racist” and declared: “I’m black. Your previous principal was white and Jewish. More of us are coming...” (Source)
Why is a woman whose views seem to clearly be detrimental to the students she is given responsibility for be allowed to remain in this position? This is separate from the question of how she rose this far in the first place?
Tenure, union protection and yes, political correctness would be my guess.
Teacher reviews of Greta Hawkins here.
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