Colorado mayor sparks outcry by BANNING the Pledge of Allegiance and threatening to kick officials out of meeting when they defied him and stood to recite it
- Silverton Mayor Shane Fuhrman announced the ban at a Board of Trustees meeting last week
- He said the move was in response to ‘direct and indirect threats and inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings’
- Fuhrman did not elaborate on the nature of the threats or comments
- Attendees reacted to the announcement by standing up and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before Fuhrman threatened to kick them out
- Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert shared a video of the incident on Twitter, calling it an ‘anti-American disgrace’
Silverton Mayor Shane Fuhrman (pictured) banned the Pledge of Allegiance at public meetings over what he called ‘direct threats’
The mayor of a small town in Colorado has banned his Board of Trustees and guests from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at public meetings because of what he called ‘direct threats’ in his community.
Shane Fuhrman, the mayor of the 550-person mountain town Silverton, made the announcement at a board meeting on June 14, which is Flag Day.
But the entire room of attendees, and two board members, stood up and recited the pledge anyway, to which Fuhrman responded by threatening to kick them all out of the meeting.
Fuhrman explained that he made the executive decision to ban the pledge ‘due to direct and indirect threats and inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings and the general divisiveness of issues created in our community’.
Fuhrman did not elaborate on the nature of the threats or comments that prompted him to remove the pledge, which he added would be removed from agendas and protocols ‘until such time that we could discuss this at a board retreat or workshop’.
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Fuhrman made the announcement at a board meeting on June 14, which is Flag Day
Almost the entire room stood up at last week’s meeting and recited the pledge anyway, before Fuhrman threatened to remove them all
The decision drew the ire of many in the room, including Trustee Molly Berla who called him out for making the decision without input.
She called it a ‘unilateral’ decision that undercut the opinion of the rest of the board.
The fiery exchange played out in a video shared to the Town of Silverton’s YouTube page.
During the meeting’s first public comment period, about five minutes into the video, one woman says: ‘I would like to make one comment. I would like to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.’
The whole crowd and a few trustees stand and recite the pledge in full before Fuhrman says: ‘I’d note that that’s out of order.’
‘We did have a one strike policy,’ he adds. ‘I’m not going to ask everyone to leave tonight, but if something like that happens again I will.’
The board voted in favor of continuing to say the pledge, Barela said, but Fuhrman still banned it
In a statement to KDVR, Barela noted that the mayor brought up his desire to discontinue saying the pledge at meetings in April 2020 when they were over Zoom. But there was a 4/3 vote to continue saying it, according to Barela’s statement.
‘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,’ she said.
She said that his threat to remove them from the meeting ‘violates every single one of their first amendment rights’ and is a slap in the face to the town’s veterans who, she said, ‘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.’
Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert shared a video of the incident on Twitter, calling it ‘anti-American’
Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert shared a video of the incident on Twitter.
‘It’s hard to put into words what kind of anti-American disgrace this is,’ read the caption. ‘Mayor Fuhrman should resign and purchase a one-way ticket to China where he won’t have worry about hearing the pledge!’
Silverton has run into controversy regarding the Pledge of Allegiance in the past. In 2018, a former trustee member almost pressed harassment and menacing charges against a resident who verbally attacked him for not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance, according to an article that appeared in the Durango Herald at the time.