(NATIONALREVIEW) — Last week, Principal Pat Jones, worried that by the fact that some of his students didn’t know the federal government had been shut down, announced that his school, Alliance High School in Nebraska, would refrain from reciting the pledge as they did each morning, to remind them of the problems in Washington.

According to the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, Jones declined to comment and referred queries to the district’s superintendent, who said he’d only heard about it after receiving unhappy calls from parents.

But the superintendent defended the idea, telling 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. So it has opened up some great communication lines and it has actually had some positive outcomes.”

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