Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm Not Much Of A Jerry Brown Fan,, But.....

At least he did the right thing here. It is just a shame that it had to get to such a drastic step before the right thing was ultimately done.

Instructor fired over loyalty oath reinstated

HAYWARD, Calif. -- A Quaker math instructor who was fired by Cal State East Bay after she refused on religious grounds to sign a state loyalty oath has been reinstated, university officials said Friday.Marianne Kearney-Brown, a pacifist, was concerned that signing the oath to "support and defend" the California and U.S. constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic" could commit her to take up arms. She was fired Feb. 28 after she inserted the word "nonviolently" before "support and defend" and signed that version.

The university, averting a showdown over religious freedom, agreed to rehire Kearney-Brown after the office of state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown helped draft a statement declaring that the oath does not commit employees to bear arms in the country's defense.Kearney-Brown, 50, said she was relieved that the issue was resolved and excited to return next week to teaching her class in remedial math. "I just want to teach kids who hate math," she said. "That's all I want to do."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 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. Noncitizens are exempt.Typically, new employees sign it as a matter of routine along with a stack of other required employment documents. Some public employees say they don't recall signing it."A lot of people are saying it's not a big deal, but I just couldn't do it," Kearney-Brown said. "Is the country safer because people sign it without thinking about it?"


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