Friday, May 02, 2008

Cal State Instructor Fired for Statement of Pacificism

Since the McCarthy era, teachers in California have been required to sign a loyalty oath before taking their jobs. Wendy Gonaver, a quaker and pacifist, asked to include a statement about her commitment to nonviolence along with her pledge to "defend" the constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." She was summarily fired from her adjuncting position at Cal State Fullerton.

The LA times reports that the effect of the loyalty oath has mostly been to drive members of certain religions, mostly Quakers and Jehovah's witnesses, out of the California school system. The report gives examples of people who refuse to sign the loyalty oath because of because it implies that they must be willing to use violence. A couple months ago, a math instructor was fired from Cal State East Bay for inserting the word "nonviolently" into her loyalty oath. She was rehired after enlisting the help of the UAW. The Times says that other teachers refuse to swear allegiance to anyone but God. The paper gives a couple of examples of Jehovah's Witnesses being fired on these grounds.

This is an installment in our ongoing series about government efforts to crack down on the menace posed by people who take a principles stance against violence.

Link via Unfogged, where Alex points out that John Yoo must have signed one of these things to teach at Berkeley. This gives us grounds to have him summarily fired, since writing the torture memo is clearly an attack on the constitution.


Anonymous said...

LATimes reporter Richard Paddock typically fails to mention the 1994 "loyalty oath" lawsuit in which Fresno City College was court-ordered to pay a mother-daughter pair of Jehovah's Witness job applicants $259,000.00.

To read what the LA Times doesn't tell you, go to the following website which summarizes over 500 Jehovah's Witnesses Employment related lawsuits, etc,:


Narya said...

She's actually related to me--and apparently she has her job again.