A Nebraska high school principal caused quite a stir after he announced to students on October 7th that they wouldn’t be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance that day.
The decision, he explains, was in response to the government shutdown. Alliance High School Principal Pat Jones says that his reason behind doing it was to educate the students about the shutdown and to get them talking about it. He insists that most of the students either knew little about what was going on, or didn’t even know there was a shutdown to begin with.
District Superintendent Troy Unzicker defended the reasoning behind the principal’s decision.
“It is kind of sad, because when you talk to our kids, they don’t understand the shutdown at all, some maybe not even knowing it existed,” said Unzicker to KOTA News. ”So it has opened up some great communication lines and it has actually had some positive outcomes.”
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Still, despite good intentions, many student and parents were not happy. According to reports, one student decided to recite the Pledge of Allegiance anyway, defying the decision made by the principal.
Superintendent Unzicker claims that Principal Jones did not clear the decision with him prior to making the announcement and that he only heard about it after getting bad feedback from many parents.
Still, Unzicker claims that something positive came out of Principal Jones’s decision, although it may not have been the best way to go about educating students.
"There were some positive aspects that came out of it, but skipping the pledge is not something we will do again," Unzicker said.
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Unzicker did not say if any disciplinary action was taken against Principal Jones. The government has been shut down since October 1st, and there is still no clear end in sight.