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Donald Trump’s rambling, unscripted stump speeches have been compared to political performance art. But for one Massachusetts elementary school, his face is just too offensive to be included in its talent show.
Last week, officials at Joseph E. Fiske Elementary School in Wellesley, Mass., barred three 11-year-old boys from performing a wordless dance routine to Crazy Frog’s “Axel F” because they were planning to wear comically oversized masks of the Republican frontrunner. The so-called Bobblehead Boys — Christian Mattaliano, Marc Maggiacomo and David Maggiacomo — did a similar routine last year when they wore masks featuring the face of the school’s retiring principal.
But after they performed as the Dancing Trumps at a dress rehearsal for students and staff on Wednesday morning, the principal’s office fielded at least one complaint — and hours before the evening talent show, the Boston Globe reports, the boys were given a choice to make: “Ditch the masks, or sit out the show.” They chose the latter.
“The bobblehead is the act,” Maryellen Maggiacomo, the mother of Marc and David, told the newspaper.
“They assume they did something wrong.” Laurie Mattaliano, Christian’s mom, added. “No words were spoken. It’s just pop culture. The skit took no stance in support or defamation.”
School administrators had a different view.
“I think it’s so important for us to be seen as nonpartisan in a highly charged election environment,” David Lussier, the Wellesley school superintendent, told the Globe, noting that another dance-off featuring students posing as Trump and Rubio was nixed too. “We wanted to make sure that nothing we are doing would be perceived as biased in some way.”
Maggiacomo vehemently disagreed.
“They see Trump in the news,” she said. “There was no political agenda on our boys’ part.”
Maggiacomo added: “They were going to do Justin Bieber, but we went through his songs, and they weren’t dancy enough.”
It’s not the first time a school-age Trump troupe has made national news.
Before a Trump rally in Pensacola, Fla., in January, the USA Freedom Kids, a local children’s trio, warmed up the crowd, debuting a bizarre lip-sync and dance routine that’s been dubbed “the Official Donald Trump Jam.”
The recorded song, called “Freedom’s Call,” includes lyrics inspired by Gen. George S. Patton and patriotic messages relayed by school-age girls dressed in American flag cheerleader outfits.
“Enemies of freedom, face the music,” the trio sang. “C’mon boys, take ’em down!”
“President Donald Trump knows how to make America great,” they continued. “Deal from strength or get crushed every time.”
But critics panned organizers for using children to push propaganda.
“It’s a delightful mix that’s part Sparkle Motion, part North Korean propaganda video, part ‘Toddlers and Tiaras,’ and 100 percent unsettling,” Christine Rousselle wrote on TownHall.com.
“Simply adorable,” Slate’s Jim Newell quipped, “and a hymn that we will all be singing in our mandatory labor camps in a little under a year’s time.”