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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NEW YORK NEWS CONFERENCE: Lawsuit planned to restore “God Bless the USA” to PS 90 school graduation ceremonies

Internet Powerhouse and Conservative blogger Andy Martin will hold a New York news conference today, Tuesday, June 12, 2012 to threaten a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education if Chancellor Denis Walcott’s decision to uphold Public School 90 Principal Greta Hawkins decision to ban singing of “God Bless the USA” is not reversed. “With due respect to Chancellor Walcott,” Andy says, “he made an incorrect decision, socially, educationally, morally and patriotically. I hope a lawsuit is not needed, and that the Chancellor will reconsider and reverse himself. But, if not, we are heading to court later this week.” A copy of Andy’s letter to the Chancellor follows in this news release.

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Internet Powerhouse Andy Martin says he will file a civil rights lawsuit to reverse the decision of NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to uphold a ban on singing of the song “God Bless the USA”

Andy says Chancellor Walcott should be supporting and encouraging the patriotism and enthusiasm of children of immigrant families, not discouraging them

Andy says a lawsuit is a last resort; he is counting on the Chancellor’s “sound judgment” to reverse a bad decision

Andy says Walcott’s actions are making a national laughingstock out of New York City schools and undermining Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s reforms

(NEW YORK)(June 12, 2012) Internet Powerhouse and Conservative blogger Andy Martin will hold a New York news conference today, Tuesday, June 12, 2012 to announce that he is going to file suit against the New York City school system if Chancellor Dennis Walcott refuses to reverse his decision to uphold the decision of PS 90 Principal Greta Hawkins to ban singing of “God Bless the USA.” Andy will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Forest Hills. Andy’s letter to the Chancellor is self-explanatory:


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Andy Martin, J. D.

Adjunct Professor of Law (ret.)

Executive Editor

June 12, 2012

Chancellor Dennis Walcott

NYC Department of Education

Tweed Courthouse

52 Chambers Street

New York, NY 10007

Courtenaye Jackson-Chase, Esq.,

General Counsel to the Chancellor

Tweed Courthouse

52 Chambers Street

New York, NY 10007

Dear Chancellor Walottt

and Attorney Jackson-Chase:

I am writing to notify you of my intent to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of New York concerning the actions of Principal Greta Hawkins of PS 90 in banning the use of “God Bless the USA” as a graduation song.

Let me start with the obvious: the national motto of the United States is “In God We Trust,” 36 U.S. Code § 302. We are “one Nation under God,” 4 U. S. Code § 4. I don’t see how the singing of “God Bless the USA” could be controversial.

The bizarre behavior of the school principal has become a national controversy. New York City is being made to look stupid.

Let me follow-up by stating I am delighted to see immigrant parents standing behind the concept of their children singing what has become a popular patriotic song. One of the criticisms we hear today is that immigrants do not “Americanize,” and we are balkanizing as a nation. What greater symbol of American acceptance could there be than a school that wants to celebrate our nation? It is sad to see the school system acting as a balkanizing agent.

The actions of the principal are bizarre and contrary to common sense.

We turn now to the issue of a lawsuit.

Chancellor Walcott has suggested the principal has almost unfettered discretion to censor school events and to impose her own personal religious values and attitudes on the school-as-a-whole. I respectfully disagree. The Chancellor’s decision turns logic and the law on their head. What is permitted by the U. S. Constitution, and the U. S. Code, is ipso facto acceptable conduct for local officials.

The New York Daily News reports there have been racist attacks on the principal. I deplore any such behavior. But I do respectfully fault the Chancellor for being weak-kneed in the face of the need for strong, patriotic executive leadership.

I grew up on a college campus in an academic family. I am also a retired adjunct professor, who may teach again. In my opinion, the common schools perform no greater service than when they expose and introduce the outstanding qualities of America to immigrant children. My mother grew up in an immigrant family; we are eternally grateful to this great and generous nation for the opportunities afforded her by the people of Manchester, New Hampshire. All of the collective hopes and dreams of immigrants since time immemorial are condensed into our history and our culture, and our common schools.

How wonderful to hear children want to sing a song celebrating our nation. How deplorable that the adults have much such a simple gesture controversial.

That we would substitute a child romance ballad by Justin Bieber is idiotic. What are we trying to provide in the way of “age appropriate” encouragement? Bieber's dating and love-making lyrics? For shame. The excuses for upholding the principal’s bizarre decision are asinine and embarrassing to the city as a governmental institution.

Most respectfully I ask you to reconsider your decision to affirm the principal’s decision. I think the need for a lawsuit should be a last resort. I am asking you to exercise your sound judgment as a first resort.

I see no shame in your reconsidering a decision now that the city has received national scorn for your action. Listen to the American people. They help pay the school bills for the children of New York City. You should want to avoid making a national laughingstock of the New York City schools.

The type of bizarre and irrational decision by Ms. Hawkins that you endorsed, moreover, erodes overall public support for the public schools, and undermines your mission to enhance the reputation of the city’s school system.

If Principal Hawkins is the type of principal produced by Mayor Bloomberg’s decade of reforms, then the reforms are a colossal failure and waste of money. Ms. Hawkins may be a wonderful person; I hope she is. But she is no school administrator and no decision-maker.

I would appreciate a decision on my request to reconsider by no later than the close of business at 5:00 P.M. on June 13. Failing same, I will file suit on Thursday.

I have emailed this letter to various attorneys on the Counsel’s staff and faxed a copy to media relations because there is no email or fax address for either the Chancellor or the Counsel. You might think of adding more direct contact information to your site. Be accessible.

Respectfully submitted,






Internet Powerhouse and Conservative Blogger Andy Martin


Andy Martin says that he plans to file a lawsuit to overturn NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s decision to uphold a ban on the singing of “God Bless the USA”


Public sidewalk in front of the Forest Hills U. S. Post Office, 10628 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, New York City


Tuesday, June 12th, 2012, 3:00 P.M.


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