Bellingham School Sparks Lyric Controversy

Jonathan Geromini

Last week at Stall Brook Elementary School in Bellingham Mass. students were preparing to sing at their spring assembly. Everything was ordinary and looked like it was just going to be another normal week. But what ensued was a week of controversy and questioning.

The students were planning to sing many songs at their assembly including the famous song “God Bless the U.S.A.” When the students started practicing they were told by school officials to sing the song a little different. The school wanted to change the lyrics so that the students sing We Love the U.S.A. instead of singing God Bless the U.S.A.

Parents were livid with this decision and felt it was unnecessary. The community was uneasy about the choice the school made. It also created debate and argument about the lyrics and if they should be changed. After all the debate and controversy it came into question that was it even worth it to change the song.

The change also reopened the discussion of separation between church and state. Which is the reason why the school made the decision to change the lyrics, so that they could keep church and state separate and teach kids to do the same thing. But to do it on a song that has been the same for over twenty-five years and that really showed our country’s patriotism and to do it in their spring assembly seems a little over the line and not needed.

The school has denied the reports of them changing the lyrics but the controversy has taken place and it has the school experiencing questioning and lack of trust from the community and parents of students that attend the school.

It goes to show that one change can go a long way towards creating a lot of controversy.