Ms. Hawkins told teachers that they couldn’t use the song because it hadn’t been approved—even though it had been used at a moving up ceremonies years earlier. Hawkins also said they couldn’t use the flags and referred to the flags as “unapproved materials.” She insisted her decision had nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with the approval process, but that’s obviously false. Hawkins could have approved the song on the spot. Its simple lyrics hardly require deep analysis. This principal Greta Hawkins has a history of nixing patriotism. Last fall, she eliminated the daily singing of “America the Beautiful.” Two years ago, she banned kindergartners from singing “God Bless the USA” at their graduation because it might offend the school’s immigrant students.
Patriotism used to be a virtue taught in our public schools. Kids used to learn patriotic songs, the pledge of allegiance, and the stories of our founding fathers alongside reading, writing, and arithmetic. That sort of thing is particularly important in schools which are now full of immigrants like this New York school. These are children whose parents may not be familiar enough with American traditions to teach them at home, so they’ve brought their kids to the United States because they want them to become Americans.
Why do we stand for principals like Greta Hawkins in our public schools? It’s time for taxpayers to stand up and say that we’re tired of subsidizing anti-Americanism.
Listen to the radio commentary here: