(NaturalNews) Big-box retailer Walmart is once again in hot water after an on-site manager at one of its stores in Pembroke Pines, Florida called the police on a group of elementary school students that tried to sing "God Bless America" inside the store on September 11. After being booted from the store, the 75-member children's choir actually had the police called on it for trying to perform the pre-arranged tune under a flag outside the store that was set at half-staff in honor of 9/11 victims, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinal.
At the leading of their principal Terri Thelmes, the students, all of which attend Coconut Palm Elementary School in nearby Miramar, Fla., obtained permission in advance from another Walmart store manager to perform the tribute inside the store on the 9/11 anniversary. But upon arriving to the location at 12800 Pines Blvd. around 7 p.m. that Tuesday evening, another store manager told the children they were a "liability," and that they would not be allowed to perform the song.
Confused about the situation, the choir teacher decided to relocate the children outside the Walmart to avoid any further confrontation, but the same manager that had just kicked the group out of the store allegedly proceeded to call the police to report a "flash mob situation" that needed to be disbanded. Officers arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. What had begun as a peaceful, pre-approved memorial tribute to fallen heroes, in other words, quickly escalated into a needless civil dispute.
"I just thought that it wasn't right, and I just thought she should have let it go because it was September 11," said Adriana Di Sciascio, one of the students in the choir, to CBS 4 in Miami about the incident. Adding to this sentiment, a parent of another young girl told WSVN-TV that her daughter was "very concerned" about the situation, as it made her feel "that she had done something wrong."
After getting wind of the incident, a corporate Walmart spokesperson released a statement apologizing for the situation, which was dubbed a "miscommunication." The spokesperson added that the students are welcome to come back to the Walmart on a future date to perform their song as planned, and the school's principal has indicated that she accepts the apology, and is willing to allow her students to return to the store for a second go at the tribute.