Principal Bars Student From Singing Anti-Bush Song At Talent Show
from the Associated Press
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — A 10-year-old girl was barred from singing a President Bush-bashing ballad at her elementary school talent show because her principal deemed the song inappropriate and too political.
"Dear Mr. President," performed and co-written by pop star Pink, criticizes Bush for the war in Iraq and policies including his stance on gay rights. Nancy Shoul said her daughter Molly should be lauded for choosing lyrics that are full of substance and that the ban violates her daughter’s right to free speech.
"If this was a student singing a pro-administration song, no one would quibble with it," Shoul said Thursday. "The principal is just running scared and doesn’t want to upset any parents."
Park Springs Elementary Principal Camille Pontillo declined to comment Friday. But a Broward County School District official said the principal has the right to determine what music her students can hear at a school function.
"This is a fifth-grade student that wants to perform a song filled with lyrics about drug use, war, abortion, gay rights and profanity," district spokeswoman Nadine Drew said. "This is an elementary school that includes kindergartners and pre-K students."
The song does not mention abortion, and the profanity is the word "hell."
Some of the lyrics read: "What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away. And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay." Another portion criticizes Bush for the war: "How do you sleep while the rest of us cry? How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?"
The White House had no immediate comment Friday.
Molly said she thought the song was "really cool" because it spoke about important subjects like war and homelessness.
If the ban stands, Molly said she plans to select a new song for the show later this month with a message she thinks school officials won’t object to: A hip-hop song about two girls fighting over a boy.