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Parental Outrage Forces Houston School To Drop Pro-Obama Chant


"All Kindergarteners will be required to learn the chant for the Black History program."

The people have spoken in Houston and forced a school to change a its decision to use an over-the-top poem praising President Obama.

Just last week The Blaze brought you the story of Tipps Elementary School in Houston that sent kindergarteners home with an assignment to learn a poem that lavished praises on the president as part of Black History Month.

Here's a sample of the actual lyrics of the poem (spelling errors belong to the school district, not The Blaze):

Who really likes to play basketball?

Obama really likes to play basketball

Who’s gonna answer our every call?

Every Call, Basketball

Outside the box, Chicago White Sox

Resident, President

Who’s famous slogan is Yes we can?

Obams’s famous slogan is Yes we can

Who do we know is the man?

Barack Obama is the man

He’s our man, Yes we can!

Every Call, Basketvall

Outside the box, Chicago White Sox

Resident, President

Who won a grammy for “Dreams of my Father”?

Obama won a grammy for “Dreams of my Father”?

Now can you guess who’s a famous author

Barack Obama is a famous author

An outraged parent sent a copy of the poem/song, and the memo attached to it, to syndicated talk show host Joe Pagliarulo. Pags (as he is known to his listeners) broadcast the story on the radio last week and generated considerable interest -- and anger -- from parents and citizens whose tax dollars fund the Tipps Elementary School.

The school's principal did not respond directly to inquiries from The Blaze or Pagliarulo, but progress has been reported.

Yesterday we received a copy of a letter sent to parents from the kindergarten teacher, Debra Thornton.

The note read:

Dear Parent/Guardian of Kindergarten students,

Although you have indicated that your child will not be participating in the Black History program, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify some misinformation you have received.

Last week, I sent our Kindergarten team's preliminary selection for the Black History Month program to you. I did not include details other than the poem. I also inadvertently included an internal cover note intended for teachers. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Since you received this preliminary selection, Ms. Reid has had the chance to review all the performance selections by all grade levels. Those kindergarten students with parent permission to participate will be doing a recitation of a selection from the book by Michelle Cook, Our Children Can Soar, A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change, instead of the preliminary selection that was sent to you.

Thank you for your continued support.


Deborah Thornton

Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Thorton's note claims that this poem/song was a preliminary choice. However, the note originally sent to teachers was quite clear:

Attached is a chant about President Barack Obama.  All Kindergarteners will be required to learn the chant for the Black History program. 

Nothing in the original memo mentioned that this was a preliminary selection. And the note also states that all kindergarteners will be required to learn it, not just those participating in the program.

Kelly Durham, the district’s assistant superintendent for communications, defended the song during a telephone interview with The Blaze last week, calling it “an instructional activity to honor Black History Month.” The kindergartners were supposed to perform it during an evening school program.

Not anymore, apparently.

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