‘Unpatriotic’ PS 90 Principal Greta Hawkins shows her true colors

To the editor,

In my opinion, Principal Greta Hawkins of PS 90 in Coney Island is way off base for not allowing the kids to sing, “God Bless the U.S.A.” at graduation because — in her opinion — it might offend other cultures, and because it isn’t age appropriate for the students.

I completely disagree with her first reason, and give her the benefit of the doubt on the second one. I looked up patriotic songs for kids on the Internet, and many different lists of songs came up, including “America the Beautiful,” “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” to name a few, but on every list was “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood.

If Hawkins thought it wasn’t a good song for their age group then why wasn’t it replaced with another patriotic song instead of a Justin Bieber song that is definitely not appropriate for 5-year-olds? I wonder what she might think is appropriate for the fifth grade graduates — a rap tune by Dirty Old Bastard, Lil’ Wayne, Snoop Dog, or 50 Cent?

God Bless America — and God help our children.

Shanequa Johnson

Crown Heights

To the editor,

I don’t know how Principal Greta Hawkins could expect anyone to believe she banned Lee Greenwood’s song — “God Bless the U.S.A.” — because she doesn’t want to offend other cultures.

I wasn’t born in this country, but I made sure my children were! It’s the greatest country in the world, bar none. I am proud to be an American, and have taught my children to also be proud of this country.

As an immigrant I would never be offended at any patriotic song being sung anywhere in America because I am an American first. What I am offended at is this principal’s behavior, and her complete lack of respect for the students and their parents. I am also offended at the Department of Education for allowing this type of behavior by a principal in a public school. If anyone belongs in the “rubber room” she does.

Augie A. Pazzo

New Port Richey Fl.

To the editor,

Greta Hawkins, the principal of PS 90, has a right to her beliefs, and can even act out idiotically if so wants to because she is an American. She doesn’t have to pledge allegiance to the flag, nor stand when the national anthem is sung, she can do practically anything she wants to do because she is an American.

I think what she is doing to the graduates and their families by not letting them sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” is a disgrace. She of all people should appreciate the lyrics to the song — “I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free and I won’t forget the ones who died who gave that right to me.”

It’s because of the brave men and woman who gave life and limb fighting to keep us free that she is able to act like the ungrateful, disrespectful, arrogant person she is.

Cronin Miller


To the editor,

It made my blood boil to learn of the principal who won’t let the students sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” because she feels it’s “too adult” and will offend other cultures.

How dare she say this! This is America! Who in their right mind would feel insulted if another country’s patriotic song was played in that country?

As the product of immigrant parents I know she couldn’t be more wrong in thinking that other cultures would be offended. Her own patriotism may be in question here, but don’t think for a minute her feelings reflect those of the immigrant parents of PS 90.

They came to this country of their own freewill to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy, and they know it’s a better place for them and their children to grow up than where they came from. Take a small survey and ask the families if they would feel insulted if the song was sung. I am willing to bet that no one would be insulted — not one — and if they are insulted, too damn bad! They could leave, and take Principal Hawkins with them. God Bless the U.S.A.

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Single-track cops

To the editor,

Please give me a break! Cops give a teen from Canarsie a ticket for riding his unicycle on the sidewalk on his way to school, afterwards they realize it’s not illegal and it doesn’t warrant a ticket because a bicycle is defined as a two-wheeled or three-wheeled device.

Instead of admitting a mistake was made, a police spokesman now states the ticket was given for reckless riding, not riding on the sidewalk, despite what the officer wrote on the ticket. The kid even tried to prove his argument, citing a case where a circus performer successfully fought two summonses for the same thing.

The only clowns here are the officer who gave the ticket and the police spokesperson who defended it. I’m surprised he wasn’t given a ticket for not having a bell or horn on the handle bars. Oh, I forgot this was a unicycle!

Joey Apancia


Heavy-handed Hizzoner

To the editor,

Before Mayor Bloomberg talks about sweet drinks, how could he have allowed a city agency to give the green light for the removal of fire escapes from an apartment building in the Bronx?

The only time we hear about housing from the mayor is when luxury condos are built by his friends. During his lengthy tenure in office, nothing has been done for tenants in this city. No matter what the economic circumstances are, landlords are guaranteed their yearly raises by the kangaroo Rent Guidelines Board, where the mayor controls the majority of the votes.

Why doesn’t the mayor push for not allowing any increases in a building until all violations are cleared? One realty had a total of 259 violations on its buildings. Yet, under the Rent Stabilization law, it could get automatic increases.

Mr. Mayor, the housing situation in New York for struggling tenants is not all that sugary.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Mayoral whims

To the editor,

Former New York City Comptroller and 2009 losing Democratic Party Mayoral candidate William Thompson is a profile in courage for resigning as chairman of the Battery Park City Authority. He is now free to run full-time for mayor with no conflicts of interest. Contrast his courage with the four cowardly lions — Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

They all lack the moral courage of Thompson and continue to hold one public office while openly campaigning for the upcoming 2013 Democratic Party Mayoral Primary. The lines are clearly blurred between their day job and new job they each seek. All have been actively working the pay-to-play fund-raising circuit, along with visiting every local and county Democratic Party clubhouse on day one after lame duck Mayor Bloomberg took his last oath of office in January 2010.

Quinn, Liu, DeBlasio and Stringer start out with many advantages not available to ordinary challengers. During their respective terms of public office, each incumbent has daily television, radio and newspaper exposure, press conferences, newsletters, guest columns in newspapers, letters to the editor, and speaking engagements on a regular basis. Don’t forget the perks of public office, including announcements of member items (many of which taxpayers consider local pork-barrel projects) which are used to raise name recognition and assist in greasing the wheels of re-election or attempt at a higher new office.

If Quinn, Liu, DeBlasio, and Stringer are serious about running for mayor, they should resign their current office today. End the charade by being honest enough to run full time on their own time and dime. Allow citizens a special election to elect a replacement who can represent them full time.

It is time we elected someone who is not using one public office as a stepping stone to another. Hard-working municipal civil servants who work full time can’t campaign part time during the day. They would have to either take a leave of absence or quit their day job.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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