Principal in Nebraska Suspends Pledge of Allegiance Over Government Shutdown

A principal at a Nebraska high school is under fire after he told students not to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because of the partial government shutdown.

On Oct. 7, Alliance High School Principal Pat Jones told students not to recite the pledge because the government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Students and faculty were upset by the decision and local reports state that some students decided to recite the pledge despite the ban.

The district superintendent, Troy Unzicker, told reporters that Jones had not cleared the plan before with administrators and insisted it would not happen again.

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.

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

"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," Unzicker said. "So it has opened up some great communication lines and it has actually had some positive outcomes."

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

Unzicker did not say if any disciplinary action was taken against Principal Jones. The government has been shut down for 16 days.

On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were working on a last minute deal to end the government shutdown and enact a short-term debt limit increase.

Reid and McConnell had announced an agreement on Monday but late Tuesday when Boehner emerged and announced his plan fell through a path forward was put back into the hands of McConnell and Reid.

The plan was being finalized Tuesday night and, if all goes as planned, will be voted on Wednesday, just one day before Thursday's debt limit deadline.