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Five classes spent months learning the patriotic song, which skyrocketed in popularity after the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
It was to be the rousing finale of their musical show at the June 20 commencement.
The kids, dressed up for their big day, would wave tiny American flags — which, as the lyrics proclaim, “still stand for freedom.”
But [Greta] Hawkins marched in on a recent rehearsal and ordered a CD playing the anthem to be shut off, staffers said.
She told the teachers to drop the song from the program.
“We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as explaining.....
Department of Education spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti gave The Post an explanation staffers said they never heard — that Hawkins found the lyrics “too grown up” for 5-year-olds....
But Justin Bieber’s flirty song about teen romance, “Baby,” was deemed a fine selection for the show. Hawkins had no problem with 5-year-olds singing lines such as, “Are we an item? Girl, quit playing.”