NEW YORK CITY Kindergarten students at a New York City school were banned from singing "God bless the USA" at their graduation ceremony.
Principal Greta Hawkins of P.S. 90 Elementary School pulled Lee Greenwood's patriotic ballad from the graduation program saying the song is not "age appropriate" and could end up "offending other cultures."
Greenwood has spoken out about the ban saying that he was offended by the principal's decision.
"My song is about hope, faith, spirit and pride. How could that be wrong on any level?" said Greenwood.
"Our country was founded on the principle that it welcomes people of all cultures and gives them the same rights we have as citizens," he added.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), contacted the New York school officials including Mayor Michael Bloomberg urging that a ban prohibiting kindergarten students to sing "God Bless the USA" at an upcoming graduation ceremony be reversed.
"This is not only ridiculous, but offensive to the many parents and students in the school who want to express their patriotism at the graduation ceremony," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.
ACLJ stated in its letter to the school district that "a student performance of 'God Bless the USA' at a graduation ceremony is no different than a teacher leading students in a voluntarily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Both are secular activities permissible in public schools, and both serve the important purpose of furthering the principles of patriotism and self-sacrifice in a group setting."
P.S. had replaced Greenwood's patriotic song with Justin Bieber's song, "Baby" but Mayor Bloomberg stepped in and said that the song is inappropriate for 5-year-olds.
Bieber's song was removed.