Officials at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City apologized Monday after a video showing security guards telling middle school students to stop singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" was posted online last week, sparking outrage.
"The guard did not respond appropriately," Kaylee Skaar, a museum spokeswoman, said in a statement to the Associated Press. "We are working with our security staff to ensure that this does not happen again with future student performances."
Two security guards were filmed telling about 50 kids from North Carolina's Waynesville Middle School to stop singing the national anthem on Wednesday. The footage was shared online afterwards by an adult on the choir's field trip and it garnered outrage. Fox News even had the students sing the anthem on air Monday.
Martha Brown, a teacher from the school, said that she had asked permission from a guard at the museum to sing the anthem, but a different guard later asked them to stop.
The museum requires people who wish to perform on the crowded plaza, which is frequented by visitors of the memorial and those who work at the new World Trade Center, to apply for a permit and pay $35. Brown said she did not know about this rule.
"So we very reverently and quietly stopped what we were doing and complied with his request and quietly exited the park," Brown said.