Political song lyrics offend some at school program

March 1, 2013 2:13:01 PM PST
An HISD principal is apologizing for what happened during an after-school program. It was supposed to be a celebration of Black History Month -- so why are some parents complaining?

The students involved at Katherine Smith Elementary in northwest Houston had no idea they were possibly doing something offensive, but some parents took it that way.

We obtained home video from a parent who was there as second graders sang and danced on Tuesday as part of a Black History Month assembly. Several songs at the assembly lavished praise on President Barack Obama, with lyrics, "Obama, Obama, this one's for you."

Meanwhile, another song had some criticism for former President George W. Bush, with lyrics including, "I tried to believe in George Bush. I tried to trust, but it's ashes to ashes now."

Grandmother Janice Hilton said, "I think it's time that we take a stand and say we're not going to do this anymore."

Hilton has two grandchildren who attend the school. She says she believes the assembly's political tone was inappropriate, so she brought her concerns to school administrators.

"I don't think there should be a president who is in office being celebrated like this," she said. "I don't care if it's Bush, I don't care if it's Clinton."

The Houston Independent School District released this statement: "This program was organized by three first-year teachers, who mistakenly failed to get the principal's approval to distribute the song lyrics. After reviewing the lyrics, the principal agrees that some of the songs were overly political and should not have been included in the program. The teachers who coordinated the program have been reminded that materials such as this must receive prior approval by the principal in the future. The principal apologizes to those who may have been offended by some of the lyrics that were included in the PTO program."

We tried to reach the PTO for comment, but have not heard back. The teachers involved are not expected to face any disciplinary action.

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