A children’s choir was shut down this weekend after two tone-deaf security guards told them to stop singing in front of the 9/11 Memorial. What was the reason? Their patriotic outburst was a public demonstration that requires a permit.
The New York Post reported that the incident occurred when a group of students from Waynesville Middle School decided to visit the former site of the World Trade Center before heading back to North Carolina. Music teacher Martha Brown was among the staff supervising the trip, and she gathered her students together for an impromptu rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner to honor the dead.
The group was about halfway through the national anthem when security men approached them and told them to stop. Connie Shepherd Scanlon, the mother of one of the students, was filming the choir and she posted the confrontation on Facebook to express her outrage.
Brown stated after the incident that she understands why the guards approached her, but that the exchange was poorly-handled
“Some of the students were very upset and confused. I told the children, ‘This is a place where you need to respect authority even if you don’t understand it,’ ” Brown said. “Singing was their way of paying respect. They were doing it very reverently.”
A spokeswoman for the memorial also agreed that the guard’s response was inappropriate. She didn’t say whether he would be disciplined, but that the memorial staff would re-examine their demonstrations policy to avoid a recurrence.
[Image via screengrab]
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