Education

Teacher Who Altered California Loyalty Oath Reinstated

By Mark Walsh — March 10, 2008 1 min read

A college math teacher who was dismissed after altering her state loyalty oath has been reinstated, two California newspapers report.

I blogged here about Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker graduate student who was teaching remedial math at California State University-East Bay. Citing the Quaker religion’s commitment to non-violence, Kearney-Brown inserted the word “nonviolently” in front of the state Oath of Allegiance’s language calling on her to swear or affirm that she would “support and defend” the state and U.S. constitutions “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” The oath is required of K-12 public school employees in California, too, and Kearney-Brown had worked in two school districts where she had modified her oath without incident.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports here that “In a grievance hearing Thursday conducted in a telephone conference call, an attorney for the California State University chancellor’s office presented Kearney-Brown with a statement saying in part, ‘Signing the oath does not carry with it any obligation or requirement that public employees bear arms or otherwise engage in violence.’ ”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “with that document stapled to the oath, Kearney-Brown signed it” and was able to return to work.

“The idea that someone could be fired for refusing to sign a loyalty oath came as a surprise to many Californians who were unaware that public employees are still required to sign it,” the Times said. “The pledge was added to the state Constitution in 1952 at the height of anti-Communist hysteria and has remained a prerequisite for public employment ever since. All state, city, county, public school, community college and public university employees are required to sign the 86-word oath.”

A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read