Teacher Fired For Refusing To Sign Loyalty OathHistorians in the News
But the day before class was scheduled to begin, her appointment as a lecturer abruptly ended over just the kind of issue that might have figured in her course. She lost the job because she did not sign a loyalty oath swearing to “defend” the U.S. and California constitutions “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The loyalty oath was added to the state Constitution by voters in 1952 to root out communists in public jobs. Now, 16 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its main effect is to weed out religious believers, particularly Quakers and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
As a Quaker from Pennsylvania and a lifelong pacifist, Gonaver objected to the California oath as an infringement of her rights of free speech and religious freedom. She offered to sign the pledge if she could attach a brief statement expressing her views, a practice allowed by other state institutions. But Cal State Fullerton rejected her statement and insisted that she sign the oath if she wanted the job.
“I wanted it on record that I am a pacifist,” said Gonaver, 38. “I was really upset. I didn’t expect to be fired. I was so shocked that I had to do this.”
comments powered by Disqus
Randll Reese Besch - 5/11/2008
Loyalty oaths? Just how effective are they? If you are a traitor you would be the first to sign up and back its use. Such is how such pernicious items of nationalism pervert a country. It proves nothing except that those people of consciences will be affected.
- ‘If You Want to Experience Liberation, Black Women Must Be at the Table’
- A Century After a Race Massacre, Tulsa Finally Digs for Suspected Mass Graves
- Historians Will Likely Rank Trump as One of the Worst Presidents
- Black Lives Matter Movement Prods Bethlehem and Other Districts to Review How History is Taught
- During the Civil War, the Enslaved Were Given an Especially Odious Job. The Pay Went to Their Owners.
- Is Evangelical Support for Trump a Contradiction?
- Survival Of The Kindest: Can Our Better Nature Help Us Build A Better World?
- As Monuments Tumble, Are We ‘Erasing’ History? Historians Say No
- Historical Association Schools Teachers on White House History
- MIT Professor Tunney Lee, an Architect, Urban Planner, and Historian of Chinatown, Dies at 88