Coconut Palm Elementary Principal Terri Thelmas and 75 of her students, some of them accompanied by their parents, traveled to a local Wal-Mart in Pembroke Pines, Fla. on Wednesday to sing “God Bless America” to honor all the people who lost their lives on the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In response, Wal-Mart called the police and had them removed from the property, CBS Miami reports.
As hard as that may be to believe, Thelmas says it’s true. The principal said the store manager gave her permission to bring the kids and sing “God Bless America” — a one-minute song — the week before.
However, at around 7 p.m. when the group of children showed up, the “on-duty” manager said they would not be allowed to sing because they were a “liability.”
A little deflated, but trying to stay positive, the students took their act outside and tried to sing “God Bless America” in remembrance of 9/11. So, the manager called the Pembroke Pines Police Department and had the patriotic children removed from the premises.
Thelmas expressed her disbelief that Wal-Mart was apparently more concerned about “lawsuits” instead of showing its commitment to the local community on a day that is supposed to be for patriotism and reflection.
According to the CBS report, Wal-Mart issued the following apology on Thursday:
“We regret this happened and apologize to the students, parents and the school for this experience. Unfortunately, this is a situation of miscommunication and should have been handled differently. We are inviting the kids back to the store to honor the victims and fallen heroes.”