Walmart has apologized for booting 75 elementary school students from a South Florida store Tuesday after they arrived to honor the fallen of 9/11 by singing "God Bless America."
Administrators at Coconut Palm Elementary School in Miramar said the performance had been arranged in advance with a Pembroke Pines store manager named Frank as part of the school's "I Will" campaign to encourage public service, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
But when the youngsters arrived on the evening of September 11th, dressed in red, white and blue and with parents and teachers in tow, they were made to leave by the store manager on duty, who told them Frank had been fired.
Parents said the manager called the performance a "liability" -- then called the police to have the group removed from the property when they tried to perform outside, according to CBS Miami.
"I just thought that it wasn't right and I just thought that she should have let it go because it was September 11th," student Adriana DiSciascio, whose mother lost a friend in the terror attacks, told CBS.
("Some of the officers felt that it wasn't a police issue," Pembroke Pines Police spokesman Alex De La Paz told the Sentinel. Police arrived after the group finished singing outside; view the performance here.)
Though the students weren't born by September 11, 2001, they had been learning about the events in school and were hoping to not only pay tribute to the dead but cheer up shoppers.
Walmart issued an apology Tuesday, inviting the kids back to the store to perform.
"We regret this happened and apologize to the students, parents and the school for this experience," said a Walmart spokesperson. "Unfortunately, this was a situation of miscommunication, and it should have been handled differently."
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