Math teacher fired — for belief in nonviolence

We’ll have to start calling it the military-industrial-educational complex. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

California State University East Bay has fired a math teacher after six weeks on the job because she inserted the word “nonviolently” in her state-required Oath of Allegiance form.

Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker and graduate student who began teaching remedial math to undergrads Jan. 7, lost her $700-a-month part-time job after refusing to sign an 87-word Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution that the state requires of elected officials and public employees.

“I don’t think it was fair at all,” said Kearney-Brown. “All they care about is my name on an unaltered loyalty oath. They don’t care if I meant it, and it didn’t seem connected to the spirit of the oath. Nothing else mattered. My teaching didn’t matter. Nothing.”

A veteran public school math teacher who specializes in helping struggling students, Kearney-Brown, 50, had signed the oath before — but had modified it each time.

She signed the oath 15 years ago, when she taught eighth-grade math in Sonoma. And she signed it again when she began a 12-year stint in Vallejo high schools.

Each time, when asked to “swear (or affirm)” that she would “support and defend” the U.S. and state Constitutions “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Kearney-Brown inserted revisions: She wrote “nonviolently” in front of the word “support,” crossed out “swear,” and circled “affirm.” All were to conform with her Quaker beliefs, she said.

The nerve of this woman! Wanting to teach math without promising to take up arms in defense of the nation! With traitorous behavior like that, she should be happy that she wasn’t shipped to Gitmo.

Shockingly, my “neighbor” (well, we’re both Oakland residents) Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, who loves yoga and has a dog named “Dharma” and is now California’s Attorney General, believes that oaths can be adapted to reflect individual values. But it’s not his call, so Kearney-Brown is out of a job and the remedial math students don’t get a teacher who professes a passion for teaching math to struggling students.

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One response to “Math teacher fired — for belief in nonviolence

  1. If I could submit a blank comment window, I would. Yikes!

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