Remember the song "Part of the 99" purportedly written entirely by third-graders? It turns out the little darlings received more than just guidance from inspirational “professional songwriter” Paul Reisler.
According to Newsplex.com, the founder and director of Kid Pan Alley, admits to authoring the lyrics and acknowledges “he should have avoided phrases like ‘I'm part of the 99’ and ‘they're the one percent’ when facilitating the songwriting process.”
In a statement to Charlottesville (Virginia) CBS affiliate WCAV-TV, Reisler said:
This is a song about being satisfied with what you have, a song about how life has its ups and downs, as so many people in our country are experiencing now. It was my personal mistake to introduce these phrases and I take complete responsibility for it. I will not make a mistake like this again.
One would hope that the Albemarle County School Board would similarly resolve to avoid making mistakes like this again. The simplest solution would be to discontinue its dealings with Kid Pan Alley, whose founder has demonstrated he cannot be trusted to keep his ideological leanings in check when doing his job.
But the school board has decided to forgive and forget. Board member Barbara Massie Mouly told the station:
I am gratified that Mr. Reisler did indicate that he regrets using the controversial language with a young group of people. I think we should examine how outside groups are told what our teaching policy is and make sure they are conforming to our policy of showing both sides of any controversial matter.
Ahh, that’s a much better idea. Rather than avoid getting 8-year-olds embroiled in controversial issues, present them with both sides so they can duke it out like adults. Maybe for the school’s spring concert, they can feature dueling choruses on the subject of immigration. Possible song title for those in favor of amnesty: “Don’t Fence Me in.” Those who believe in stricter enforcement of current laws could sing “Get Back, Wetback.”
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