NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — An 8-year-old girl was banned from singing the campfire favorite "Kum Ba Yah" at her day-camp after talent show organizers said it violated their ban on religious songs because it repeats the word "Lord."
Samantha Schultz had practiced the song for a week but was banned from singing it Friday at the North Port Boys & Girls Club talent show.
Bill Sadlo, director of operations for the club, about 50 miles south of Tampa, said he was concerned parents would complain if children went home and said they heard a religious song at the nonsectarian camp.
"We don't want to take the chance of a child offending another child's religion," Sadlo said.
Samantha's relatives were livid. They said club officials should have told her in advance that she could not sing the song.
"I learned that song in Girl Scouts, not in church," said Pam Schultz, Samantha's mother. "It's a campfire song, for goodness sake."
Sadlo agreed the staff should have informed the girl earlier and apologized to the family.
"We just can't allow any religious songs," said Randy Bouck, the local club's director.
"You have to check your religion at the door."