- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. | Protesters brought some different songs Monday to an elementary school where students sang in praise of President Obama, bringing criticism from conservative commentators who said children were being indoctrinated.

About 70 protesters stood on a sidewalk across the street from the B. Bernice Young School waving flags and homemade placards, singing “God Bless America” and chanting slogans such as “No indoctrination” and “Free children, free minds.”

The school is in a diverse suburb 15 miles northeast of Philadelphia and landed in an uncomfortable national spotlight last month when the video, shot last school year during an author’s visit, surfaced. In it, second-graders sang a medley that began, “Mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack Hussein Obama/He said that all must lend a hand/To make this country strong again.”

Some critics of the president say the song was overtly political and follows a pattern of Mr. Obama being viewed as an idol rather than a politician.

Monday’s 90-minute protest, held while the school was in session, was attended largely by members of anti-tax organizations from across the state.

“We should continue protests like this to prevent this from happening again,” said Robert Gordan, 66, a retiree from Middletown.

Karen Flowers, a 43-year-old state government social worker, was there to protest the protesters.

“I don’t have any problem with the first African-American president, the children singing about it,” Ms. Flowers said. “They’re making a lot out of nothing.”

The song was performed in February during an assembly that celebrated a number of occasions, from Black History Month to Dental Health Month, the township Board of Education said in a statement Monday. The lyrics were sent home to parents in advance, the board said.

The teacher who oversaw the class has retired.

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