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CONTACT: Jessica Proud (914) 438-5325
CONGRESSMAN TURNER JOINS FAMILIES & STUDENTS OF PS 90 IN SINGING "GOD BLESS THE USA"
Coney Island, NY-June 18...In a strong declaration of patriotism, Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Bob Turner today joined the parents and students of PS 90 in singing "God Bless the USA" at the Neptune Playground adjacent to the school to protest the principal's decision to ban the popular Lee Greenwood song from being performed at its graduation ceremony.
Two weeks ago, the principal of PS 90 created a national controversy by banning the performance after students had been practicing for months with the reasoning that the lyrics were "inappropriate," but instead allowed Kindergartners to sing a Justin Beiber song gauged toward teenage listeners. Congressman Turner reached out to the parents of the students to devise a way for the students to perform the song at a different venue.
"I find it deeply troubling that an American public school educator would find the words 'Proud to be an American' so controversial," said Rep. Turner. "We all share an obligation to teach our kids about our nation's history and to celebrate the unique freedoms we enjoy in America. As a proud American and veteran who served to protect our country's freedoms, I wanted to join with the parents and students of PS 90 to take a stand in defending the role of patriotism in our society."
He continued, "This song has a particular heartfelt meaning for New York City residents who found it a source of comfort and inspiration following September 11. This principal's decision sends kids a dangerous message that there is something wrong with being patriotic. But our coming together today to proudly sing shows that the American spirit is very much alive and well."
Mr. Turner has also sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott condemning the ban and calling on for its reversal.