Mayor Suspends Pledge of Allegiance at Town Meetings Over Threats and Divisiveness

A Colorado mayor has suspended recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings in his town after saying that it has led to threats and division in the community.

Shane Fuhrman, the mayor of the town of Silverton, in the western San Juan Mountains in Colorado, announced during a town board meeting on Monday that the Pledge of Allegiance would no longer be recited, The Durango Herald reported on Thursday.

"Due to direct and indirect threats, inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings, and the general divisiveness this is creating in our community, we will not be doing the Pledge of Allegiance during town of Silverton board of trustee meetings," Fuhrman said on Monday.

"And it's removed from agendas and our protocols until such time that we can discuss this at a board retreat or workshop."

Fuhrman did not expand on the specific reasons behind the decision, but it immediately faced opposition from members of the town's board, as some disagreed with the move while others felt that they should have been consulted.

"Any other unilateral decisions we need to know about?" board trustee Molly Barela asked after Fuhrman announced the decision, according to the Herald.

"If you'd like to find somewhere in the code that does not permit me to do this, I welcome that discussion at our next meeting," Fuhrman said in response, and Barela replied: "It's just been done for a long time. We all took an oath. And we, as the board, collectively decided it would be done."

Towards the end of the public comment section of the meeting, a woman stood up and said she wanted to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, as nine people including two board members then recited the pledge.

Once the attendees, including Barela, were finished reciting the pledge, Fuhrman told them that they were behaving out of order and said that they would be forced to leave if there were any more interruptions.

The Pledge of Allegiance has previously caused trouble in the town, as a Silverton man nearly faced charges of harassment and menacing in April 2018 after he verbally attacked a trustee who refused to stand during the pledge.

The Herald reported that Fuhrman and another unnamed board member have stayed seated during the Pledge of Allegiance in board meetings since May 3. The board members have not elaborated on their reasoning behind the decision.

Newsweek has contacted Fuhrman and the Silverton Board of Trustees for comment.

Pledge of Allegiance banned in Colorado town
American Flag waving against very blue sky on flagpole. Shane Fuhrman, the mayor of Silverton, Colorado, suspended recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings in his town, saying it has led to a divide in the community. Susan Vineyard/iStock / Getty Images Plus