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3rd graders chant: Obama 'uniting blacks and whites'

School children in North Carolina chant about President Obama, declaring, “Change has come” and praising the president for “uniting blacks and whites” in a YouTube video that’s garnering national attention.

A video of the children’s presentation follows:

The video was filmed during a Feb. 19, 2009, PTO presentation at Sand Hill – Venable Elementary School in Asheville, N.C.

The third-graders chanted:

The 44th president of the United States of America.
Change has come. Change has come.
Uniting blacks and whites.
Being both, Obama cannot take sides.
Don’t worry, said hope. I will be your bridge.
In time, hope will be the bridge for all of us.
Hope will last enough for you to make a difference.
Change has come. Change has come.
Go now, fly free.
Study, watch, learn, keep your eyes open.
Education is the key. Education is the secret.
Education is the way. Education is the path.
Can I make America better?
Can I make America better?
Can we make America better?
Yes! Yes we can!
Yes! Yes we can!

Messages left with Sand Hill – Venable Elementary School Principal Diane McEntire and PTO co-Presidents Senna Dill and Melanie Hudson were not returned.

The YouTube poster, OldHaitianRat, told WND, “[T]he ‘change’ lines were likened to the lines ‘I cannot tell a lie’ and ‘ask not what your country can do for you.'”

He continued, “Even though I personally interpreted this as a political statement, the school says that was not their intention. … I would assume that if there were obvious political or propagandist overtones in this that there would have been immediate outcry from parents in attendance.”

Within minutes of WND’s inquiries, the video was set to private and several versions were removed completely. The above version is one of the last remaining copies.

According to Jan Blunt, spokeswoman for Buncombe County Schools, the clip was from a PTO program about “heroes” performed by third-graders for their parents.

She said the children presented skits, songs and poems about heroes throughout American history and what they could do to be American heroes.

Blunt told WND, “The segment was less than one minute in length out of a 26-minute program which featured famous Americans of all colors and creeds, including George Washington, Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton and Martin Luther King Jr.

She continued, “As the first African-American to be elected president of the United States, it was entirely appropriate to feature President Obama in the program along with other famous American leaders.”

Blunt said the presentation was a lesson in American history and citizenship taken directly from the section of the N.C. Standard Course of Study titled “Citizenship: People Making a Difference.”

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the school district claims it has received death threats from people who are upset about the presentation.

McEntire spoke with the Citizen-Times shortly after WND’s attempts to contact her.

“We live in a sick world when things are taken out of context,” she told the newspaper. “It was a wonderful program about heroes shaping our nation.”

Blunt said, “It should be noted that parents viewing the program in February gave the students a standing ovation and registered no concerns then or during the ensuing seven months since the program was presented.”

The YouTube video was uploaded five days ago and has already generated a variety of comments, including the following:

As WND reported, videos of children praising Obama have been gaining widespread attention lately. Third-graders in New Jersey were taught to sing, “Mr. President, We Honor You Today” to the tune of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

The children also chanted: “Barack Hussein Obama.”

Columnist Michelle Malkin identified the children as students at B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington Township, N.J.

The children lined up in front of a stage, and an adult taught them the chant:

Uhm, uhm, uhm, Barack Hussein Obama
He said all should lend a hand to make the country strong again
Uhm, uhm, uhm, Barack Hussein Obama
He said we must be fair today, equal work means equal pay
Uhm, uhm, uhm, Barack Hussein Obama
He said take a stand, make sure everyone gets a chance
Uhm, uhm, uhm, Barack Hussein Obama
He said red, yellow, black and white, all are equal in his sight
Uhm, uhm, uhm, Barack Hussein Obama
YEAH. Barack Hussein Obama

“OK, now let’s do the song,” says the adult leader.

The lyrics appear to include:

Hello Mr. President, We honor you today
For all your great accomplishments, we all do say hooray
Hooray, Mr. President you are No. 1
The first black American to lead this nation

WND also reported when, during the presidential campaign, a video appeared showing a drill team of students marching to Obama’s praise, chanting “Alpha, Omega.”