Should someone be denied a teaching job because she refuses to affirm that she will fight against enemies of the state? I. Don’t. Think. So. But, according to a report by Richard C. Paddock of from the Los Angeles Times, that’s what happened to Wendy Gonaver.
When Wendy Gonaver was offered a job teaching American studies at Cal State Fullerton this academic year, she was pleased to be headed back to the classroom to talk about one of her favorite themes: protecting constitutional freedoms.
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.”
Link to Mr. Paddock’s story. In addition to focusing on Ms. Gonaver’s case, Mr. Paddock provides a lot of background on the use of loyalty oaths.
I recall that when I was hired as a teacher aide by the LA County Unified Schools in the 1960s, I was concerned about whether I would be required to take the oath. I didn’t have to do so. Whew.