A group of 75 Florida elementary school kids accompanied by teachers and parents arrived at the Pembroke Pines Walmart on Tuesday to perform ‘God Bless America’ in tribute to the September 11th victims, only to be turned away at the door.
Officials at Coconut Palm Elementary School in Miramar said they had arranged in advance for the young chorus members, ages seven to 10, to stage the patriotic tribute, but a representative of the big-box store refused to honor the agreement, forcing the children to sing in the parking lot.
But it was not the end of their troubles. After the group performed the song under a nearby flag that was at half-staff, police arrived on the scene in response to a report about a 'flash mob situation.'
On Wednesday evening, a Walmart spokesperson issued an apology on behalf of the store at the center of the controversy, according to NBC News Channel 5.
'We regret this happened and apologize to the students, parents and the school for this experience,' said the spokeswoman Kayla Whaling. '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.'
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