The song was to be part of their graduation ceremony on June 20, until Greta Hawkins banned it. Ironically, the decision has outraged parents, many of whom are "proud" immigrants and from different cultures.
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 Hawkins marched in on a recent rehearsal and ordered a CD playing the anthem to be shut off, staffers said.
She told the teachers to drop the song from the program.
“We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as explaining.
The curt edict stunned both staff and parents.
“A lot of people fought to move to America to live freely, so that song should be sung with a whole lot of pride,” said mom Luz Lozada, whose son, Daniel, is in kindergarten.
The song has been sung at previous school events. Last year’s fifth-graders, including another Lozada child, performed it at graduation.
“Everybody applauded and whistled,” the mom said. “They gave it a standing ovation.”
Parents — many immigrants from Pakistan, Mexico and Ecuador — “love it,” Lozada said.
A teacher agreed: “It makes them a little goosebumpy and teary-eyed. I’ve never come across anyone who felt it insulted their culture.”
Department of Education spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti gave The Post an explanation staffers said they never heard — that Hawkins found the lyrics “too grown up” for 5-year-olds.
The song starts: “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life. And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife, I’d thank my lucky stars, to be livin’ here today.”
And the DOE agrees with Hawkins: “The lyrics are not age-appropriate.” Though apparently Justin Bieber's "Baby" is perfectly okay. The kids will be singing that song which includes lyrics like “Are we an item? Girl, quit playing.” and:
She made my heart poundOh, yes, definitely appropriate for 5 year olds, Ms Hawkins.
I skip a beat when I see her in the street
And at school on the playground
But I really wanna see her on a weekend
She know she got me dazin' 'cause she was so amazin'
And now my heart is breakin' but I just keep on sayin'
The trouble with Greta is she's a Jehovah's Witness and they're supposedly not allowed to salute a flag or pledge allegiance to any nation. This isn't the first run in with staffers. She tried to ban the morning assembly ritual of singing "America The Beautiful" and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, but failed. And some staff members have called her "a tyrant and bully." And back in 2010 she was chastised by the DOE for saying: “I’m black. Your previous principal was white and Jewish. More of us are coming.”
Hawkins needs to leave her religion and her prejudice at home, it has no place in a public school environment, or anywhere else for that matter.
Hawkins has now banned the Bieber, as well.