The above is from a set of lyrics recently given to Blythe Elementary School students in Huntersville, North Carolina, right outside of Charlotte. They are, obviously, about how great Walmart is.
According to a mother who asked to be called Erin, whose son attends Blythe Elementary, the school gave the lyrics to her ten year-old fourth-grader. "My student said he was told it was the glee club," she told me over the phone. Her son was under the impression that "he'd be taken out of school to do this performance at Walmart." Apparently, students were given these lyrics and told they had the opportunity to try out for the right to sing this, and a few other Christmas songs, near the entrance of the local Walmart. (Erin's son, she says, didn't make the cut.)
A couple days ago, Erin posted the lyrics on reddit because she found them funny, she told me, inadvertently sparking a miniature shitstorm in the Charlotte area. "There's a huge uproar" over this, she said. "I [posted] it for the lols, I didn't realize the community would go berserk." Erin's image of the lyrics now has over a million views.
Erin told me that as a result of the Walmart debacle, parents have been threatening to pull their kids from school, and the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School system's Facebook page has gone into damage control mode, mollifying upset parents and randos alike who were voicing their anger.
After speaking with Erin, I tried to find out who told a bunch of elementary school kids they needed to sing some goofy songs about Walmart being sweet.
I contacted Walmart corporate, who responded with a statement reading:
The Huntersville Walmart is an active member of the community, and this includes having a positive relationship with Wythe Elementary School. We have supported them through our school of the month program, as well as provided them with materials and refreshments through various school events. The Blythe elementary school chorus will be performing at our store as they have in years past. This will include a special song performed as a way to thank the store for their support.
After that, I called Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools, who emailed me the following statement:
The Blythe Elementary Chorus Club is an extracurricular activity for students. Club members composed the song to sing to Walmart staff in the lobby of the Huntersville store across the street from the school. The song was the students' way of thanking the store for its generosity in contributing school supplies, teacher incentives, and other supports for the neighborhood elementary school. This is the third year of the community partnership effort between Blythe Elementary and the store. The song is not intended to be performed on the school campus.
Previously, in a reddit comment from an account claiming to be from Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools, responding to Erin's initial post, a CMS spokesperson wrote, "We must say... we also find this extraordinarily inappropriate."
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