“Due to direct and indirect threats, inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings and general divisiveness and issues created in our community…”
A mayor in a Colorado town suspended the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings because of “direct and indirect threats.”
Silverton Mayor Shane Fuhrman made the announcement at a town trustee meeting on Monday:
“Due to direct and indirect threats, inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings and general divisiveness and issues created in our community, we will not be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during Town of Silverton trustee meetings,” Fuhrman said.
Fuhrman’s announcement wasn’t accepted with open arms. Immediately following his statement, Silverton Trustee Molly Barela spoke up.
“We already discussed this as a board, and any other unilateral decisions we need to know about?” she asked the mayor.
“If you’d like to find somewhere in the code, something that doesn’t permit me to do this, then I welcome that discussion at our next meetings,” Fuhrman responded.
Barela then went on to tell the Mayor the decision was made without the board’s opinion.
“It’s been done for a long time. We all took an oath, and we as a board we decided it would be done,” Barela said.
But did threats of any kind cause Fuhrman to end the Pledge of Allegiance? Barela’s statement sounds like Fuhrman looked for an excuse:
“Back in April 2020 when the newest board members were seated the mayor brought it up that he didn’t want to do the Pledge of Allegiance anymore because it’s not really a thing, it was a 4/3 vote that we continue to do it. By going back to in person meetings it changes the dynamic compared to what was happening on zoom. While on zoom the three individuals who chose not to say the Pledge of Allegiance would just turn off their cameras now that we’ve gone back to in person meetings members of the general population especially those who are veterans have been questioning why would you run for office and take an oath to uphold the laws of the United States of America the state of Colorado and the town of Silverton if you won’t stand for the pledge. Members of the public have told them that they should be ashamed of themselves. I personally didn’t like his unilateral decision, when we as a collective group had already decided over a year ago to continue to do the pledge, I don’t know if it was premeditated to have it done on Flag Day, which we all know that was declared June 14, 1777 by the second continental Congress, now mayor Shane Fuhrman has made this first amendment right issue. To tell members of the public they are not allowed to say the Pledge of Allegiance during public comment and threaten to have them removed that it was a one strike in you’re out policy violates every single one of their first amendment rights.”
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