A group of North Carolina middle schoolers on a field trip to New York City paused on Friday to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 9/11 memorial site as a demonstration of respect, but a pair of security guards ordered them to be quiet.
"You have to stop," one guard reportedly told the students' teacher, because "This is considered a public demonstration!" The guards insisted the children would have to acquire a permit to be able to complete their song. Video footage of the incident has racked up 300,000 views and counting, a viral streak the teacher says could have been prevented if the guards had just "waited 30 to 45 seconds for us to finish."
A representative of the memorial indicated that security staff will be trained to "ensure that this does not happen again with future student performances," but did not indicate whether the guards involved would be disciplined.