Wal-Mart management refused to allow Ana Conner’s group of 75 students at Coconut Palm Elementary in Pembroke Pines, Florida to perform “God Bless America”- even though it was scheduled ahead of time by the school’s principal and a Wal-Mart manager named “Frank” – to occur on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorism attacks as a tribute to the victims.
“On a scale from one to 10, a 10 as far as disappointment goes,” Conner said, after the incident.
The school’s principal, Terri Thelmas, said that even after being refused and insulted by the store manager, obviously not “Frank” – and in an “effort to right a wrong,” the students went outside into the parking lot and began performing the song. Afterwards, heading to their vehicles, the students and parents were met by police who said they were responding to reports from the Wal-Mart manager of a “flash mob.”
Thelmas claims that is was her that arranged the performance with a store manager named “Frank.” The manager on duty when the kids arrived reportedly called the choir a “liability” and stated that “Frank” had been fired.
Wal-Mart, AKA-China-Mart, has apologized. A spokeswoman for the store said the concert would be rescheduled and made the following statement:
“We regret this happened and apologize to the students, parents and the school for this experience. Unfortunately, this was a situation of miscommunication, and it should have been handled differently. We’re also inviting the kids back to the store to help honor the victims and fallen heroes.”
The schools principle said that the performance was arranged as part of a school-related “I Will” campaign that encourages public service on 9/11.
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