In “Cal State-Fullerton and Lecturer Reach Agreement Over State Loyalty Oath,” Richard Byrne of the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that California has agreed to allow Wendy Gonaver to make a loyalty oath that reflects her beliefs. Alert readers (both of you!) will remember that I posted a note about this incident a few weeks ago.
A simmering dispute over whether a lecturer at California State University at Fullerton could teach there without signing a loyalty oath required of state employees by the California Constitution has been taken off the boil by an agreement announced on Monday.
In the oath, state employees swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Wendy Gonaver, a lecturer in American studies, was fired by the university last year because she refused to sign the oath as written, citing her beliefs as a Quaker and a pacifist. Ms. Gonaver stated that she was willing to sign the oath if allowed to attach an explanatory note clarifying her beliefs, but the university ruled that the language she used unduly qualified the oath.
My thanks to Professor Gonaver for standing up on this issue. Because she has done this, we are all stronger.
Link to the story.