A children’s choir was prevented by United States Capitol Police from singing the national anthem last month over concerns that the performance could offend others present. Video shows the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir being halted during the middle of the national anthem at the direction of a police officer.
A video shared by Tyler O’Neil of the Daily Signal appeared to show a Capitol Police officer telling a member of the congressional staff to direct the children to stop singing. The staffer approached the head of the choir and stopped the performance mid-song.
🚨The Rushingbrook Children's Choir sang the National Anthem in Statuary Hall. a Capitol Police officer stopped them mid-song. Capitol Police claims they didn't stop the choir. The choir director tells the whole story in my exclusive interview here. 🚨https://t.co/ZRNbWy75la pic.twitter.com/ijiq4pw3X8
— Tyler O'Neil (@Tyler2ONeil) June 2, 2023
O’Neil shared a statement from the Capitol Police which states that “our officers were reasonable and allowed the children to finish their beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.”
Micah Rea, the organizer of the trip told O’Neil that this was a “bold-faced lie.” Rea said that the halt of the song was “clearly” seen in the video.
Capitol Police also cited a ban on “demonstrations and musical performances” within the Capitol.
However, there have been several recent performances there, including one in March.
The students also received permission to sing at the location from the visitor operations manager at the Architect of the Capitol.
A female officer reportedly told the choir leader that the performance received several complaints over offensiveness.
The officer told the head of the choir that while the children’s performance was “beautiful,” they could “go out outside and sing.”
Furthermore, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and three representatives confirmed that the children were welcomed by McCarthy’s office “to joyfully express their love of this Nation while visiting the Capitol, and we are all very disappointed to learn their celebration was cut short.”
The members of Congress continued, lauding the reopening of the House of Representatives since the end of COVID-19 and that they “look forward to welcoming more Americans back to the halls of Congress.”
The congressional delegation from South Carolina agreed to “cover all expenses to return them to the Capitol to sing the national anthem wherever they please,” a statement said.