Alliance High School Principal Pat Jones has suspended the Pledge of Allegiance until the government shutdown draws to a close.
Jones enacted the suspension on October 7, telling students that they would not recite the pledge because of the shutdown which began on October 1.
The decision didn’t sit well with some parents and one student stood up and recited the pledge regardless of the principals decision.
District superintendent Troy Unzicker told the Journal Star that he was only made aware of the issue after receive several critical calls and emails from concerned parents.
Unzicker says Principal Jones did not clear his decision with the school board.
Under district policy a small amount of time is set aside each day to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Teachers recite the pledge with students in their own individual classrooms.
Unzicker has not said if Jones would be disciplined for the apparent policy violation.
Superintendent Unzicker does note that Pat Jones’ decision has managed to get students talking about politics and the government.
“There were some positive aspects that came out of it, but (skipping the pledge) is not something we will do again,” Unzicker said.
The school in the Nebraska Panhandle city of about 8,500 has about 500 students.
Since the government shutdown began on October 1 there have been many protests against the decision. President Obama has promised not to negotiate with Republicans if they continue to “hold our country hostage.”
In the meantime hundreds of thousands of government workers are furloughed but will still be paid when they eventually return to work.
Do you think the principal should be disciplined for temporarily suspending the Pledge of Allegiance during a government shutdown?