Nebraska school principal cancels Pledge of Allegiance due to slimdown

A western Nebraska high school that didn't recite the Pledge of Allegiance one day last week because of the partial government shutdown won't be doing that again.

On Oct. 7, Alliance High School principal Pat Jones told students they wouldn't be reciting the pledge that day, pointing out that the federal government had been partially shut down since Oct. 1. Scottsbluff television station KDUH reported that some students were outraged by Jones' decision, and one woman said her son stood up in class and recited the pledge anyway.

The school of about 500 students sits on the north side of Alliance, a Nebraska Panhandle city of nearly 8,500 residents.

On Monday, Jones declined to comment and referred questions to the district superintendent, Troy Unzicker.

Unzicker said Jones hadn't cleared his plan with administrators beforehand, but Unzicker said he soon heard about it after school board members started getting calls and emails from parents. Near as he knew, Unzicker said, all the calls were critical of Jones.

Under district policy, time is set aside each school day for teachers to lead their classes in the pledge. Unzicker wouldn't say whether Jones had been disciplined for the apparent policy violation.

Jones did get students talking about government, his superintendent said.

"There were some positive aspects that came out of it, but (skipping the pledge) is not something we will do again," Unzicker said.