Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

California Teacher Fired for Not Signing Loyalty Oath

Wendy Gonaver lost her teaching job at Cal State Fullerton one day before class was scheduled to begin, because she refused to sign a loyalty oath swearing to "defend" the U.S. and California constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

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."

California State University officials say they were simply following the law and did not discriminate against Gonaver because all employees are required to sign the oath. Clara Potes-Fellow, a Cal State spokeswoman, said the university does not permit employees to submit personal statements with the oath.

"The position of the university is that her entire added material was against the law," Potes-Fellow said.

In February, another Cal State instructor, Quaker math teacher Marianne Kearney-Brown, was fired because she inserted the word "nonviolently" when she signed the oath. She was quickly rehired after her case attracted media attention.

It is hard to know how many would-be workers decline to sign the pledge over religious or political issues. Some object because they interpret the pledge as a commitment to take up arms. Others have trouble swearing an oath to something other than their God.

Here's an interesting story at the Los Angeles Times by Richard C. Paddock: Link

(Photo: Mark Boster / LA Times)

Another story from the land of nothing for free!

Be sure to google for the news on the guy from Canada who may face extridition and serve 10 years to life in prison in the U.S. for selling SEEDS! Is this your land of freedom, where nature is illegal? I spit upon your so-called freedom in disgust.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Why do teachers/lecturers etc. have to still sign the oath? If it was to roo out communism, well, communism isn't a threat to America anymore, so, what's the point?

If it's to show patriotism, then surely every American citizen would sign it..?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
This lady seems like a special kind of stupid. The God referenced in these oaths is clearly the same Judeo-Christian God that she worships, and what made her think there was any chance whatsoever of actually having to physically defend these constitutions? Even if she were drafted today, she'd have the chance to serve a noncombat function.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Look, it's technically illegal for employers to require piss tests, but they do all the time and nobody raises too much of a stink because a) those for whom it's an issue are likely to flunk the tests, so best to not attract attention to themselves, and b) those for whom it's not an issue are all too willing to comply. Casual violations of our rights happen all the time, and the assumption of guilt raised by unwillingness to be violated makes it enormously difficult to change anything.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
bean, the god she worships takes great pity the lengths the US goes to abuse His name in everything from the pResident on down, and clearly, you're in that goose-stepping minority. Jesus was a pacifist and would most certainly be a liberal, and of course "liberal" to the hard soulless, consciously, hypocritical right, is the new "communist."Which brings us to, if you take a step back, it's not about gods or oaths but really only about empowering the power elite and stripping the rights of the common person. It's evil hidden behind jingoism trumped as patriotism, the type of thing that would have some of the nation's forefathers spinning in their graves. I'm proud of people that stand up like this teacher, if not, we'll wind up like China, only minus the manufacturing sector.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Well said Craig. An I also have to wonder what the point of the oath is. I would think 99% of Americans would naturally want to uphold the things in this oath, so what's the point?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Didn't Cal State learn from the last time they did this?

"In February, another Cal State instructor, Quaker math teacher Marianne Kearney-Brown, was fired because she inserted the word 'nonviolently' when she signed the oath. She was quickly rehired after her case attracted media attention."
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Her contract was to teach, the oath extends that (with no extra compensation I assume) to something unknown and general that based on what the dean or whoever runs the school wants can enforce by simple threat of firing. Most people at a level to teach college would never even consider signing such a thing. I'm surprised they have teachers at all.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I don't see what the big deal is. I mean, I am sure that other tyrannical governments have enforced such oaths on their subjects, right?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Great news. We in the US leave the door open. She is free to surrender her US passport and move to Zimbabwe, Congo or Cuba and practice her pacifism there.

We have always given the commies in our midst the freedom to relocate to that island paradise just off the Florida coast, with its legendary educational and healthcare systems, but strangely they never seem to take advantage of it.

She seeks the benefits of a nation and a civilization that others have fought, bled and died for without recognizing any obligation to perpetuate or uphold the founding principals and traditions of the same. That's not a pacifist, it's a parasite.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'm don't see how such a statement can be constitutional at all, or what purpose it even serves other than another excercise of beauracratic-paper wastage.

And if a place fired me for not wanting to sign something which I did not want to sign because of my religion, I wouldn't want to work there anyway.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
How soon you folks seem to forget some of the reasons your country was created in the first place. Like... freedom from religious persecution. Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted, right?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Although I do not agree with the woman's pacifist viewpoint, I support and applaud her decision to stand up for her belief.

The oath requirement is worse than stupid. Does anyone think that a real spy or enemy agent wouldn't have a problem signing a thousand loyalty oaths? The oath is about as useful as requiring little school children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance that uses words they can't even pronounce let alone understand.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Art, read the constitution some time. She is recognizing the principles you described by protesting. She could sue and she would win.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Oh, geez, if you want the job just play along and sign the stupid form. Like the State of California is going to make this precious little cupcake armwrestle Osama.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Why the heck should anyone have to sign an oath to be a teacher? An oath to teach students to the best of her ability, maybe I can see that.

An oath to defend anything is a little beyond the purview of a teacher. Her job is to TEACH, period.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
the whole oatyhthing is a HUAC left over.

All the yanks were keen as mustard to salute the flag and goose step into a brighter westinghouse tomorrow that they sold out their much vaunted founding fathers ideals.

If someone was a commie hell bent on bringing down the USA I doubt that an oath not worth the paper it was written on would prove a stumbling block.

Similarly obtaining a written guarentee from the 911 bombers that they cross their hearts and hope to die ,swear to god they'll not go flying planes at buildings, would have averted that horrror.

This is not a loyalty oath, it's designed to see who'll bend the knee, and how fast.

some of the people who post on here would break their knee caps they'd bend them so fast.

I've always admireed the power and idealism that is enshrined in your constitution and bill of rights, and almost as consistently been sickened by the serf caste epsiloms of the US who equate dissent with treason.

Your country is based on treason.

Against the King.

And good on you for kicking that parasite out of your nation.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
"That’s not a pacifist, it’s a parasite."


Living in the real world must cause you a fierce amount of stress, son....
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 26 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"California Teacher Fired for Not Signing Loyalty Oath"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More