Pat Jones, principal at Alliance High School, announced to students on Oct. 7 that they would not be saying the customary pledge before school, according to the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan. The principal made the decision in order to get kids talking about the shutdown.
“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,” Superintendent Troy Unzicker told KOTA news. “So it has opened up some great communication lines and it has actually had some positive outcomes.”
Some parents and students were upset with Jones’ decision, and one mother told the Daily Press & Dakotan that her son had stood to recite the pledge anyway.
Jones had not cleared the choice with Unzicker. The superintendent only found out about the change after receiving unhappy feedback from parents.
Unzicker said the school wouldn’t prevent students from saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the future. He wouldn’t tell the news outlets if Jones had been disciplined at all for the violation of school policy.
The federal government has been shut down since Oct. 1.