A Virginia school has, as of late, found itself in hot water. They’ve been accused of forcing their students to sing a pro-Occupy Wall Street movement song that was first performed in October as part of a group at the Albermarle County schools.
Finding Self in Hot Water
As a result, the foundation has started to train its facilitators not to have students focus on controversial topics in their songs. The song, called “Part of the 99” was inspired by a child at Woodbrook Elementary School who wanted to write about “having it all and losing it all.”
However, defending the actions of the Kid Pan Alley group, the Albermarle County schools spokesman Phil Giaramita said, “The words ‘Occupy’ or ‘Wall Street’ were not mentioned in the classroom.”
Kid Pan Alley has, as well, clarified its aim and its guidelines. As they recently emphasized in a statement,
“Kid Pan Alley does not promote nor condone any personal or political agenda. As a result, our programming over the years has consistently received high praise and commendation from children, parents and schools. Our sole mission has been and continues to be to inspire and empower children to work together to become creators of their own music and to rekindle creativity as a core value in education.”
Further defending their song choices, Kid Pan Alley has pointed out that they’ve helped kids to produce and perform 1800 songs, and that none of them have every had this issue. As Giaramita said, “There’s been a lot of sensitivity raised over this in the last couple days. If you’re writing about pets or a holiday, those kinds of things are very enjoyable and not controversial. If you’re writing about an issue such as a family that has it all and loses it, we need to be very sensitive about the circumstances around it.”