AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, the teachers of America have demonstrated their faith and allegiance to the basic principles of democracy since the founding of our nation; and

WHEREAS, academic freedom, the right to seek, teach, speak, and write the truth, even if it is an unpopular truth, is fundamental in our system of education and in our way of life; and

WHEREAS, the right to teach and be taught the truth without fear and restriction is vital, not to the teacher alone but to the student and nation as well; and

WHEREAS, imposed loyalty oaths are a threat to academic freedom, since they can be used arbitrarily to control thought and expression; and

WHEREAS, loyalty oaths inflict indignity and personal injury to the honest and loyal teacher by implying that he is "disloyal" till he swears he is "loyal;" and

WHEREAS, the taking of an oath does not create true loyalty, nor expose those whose loyalty lies elsewhere and who do not hesitate to perjure themselves; and

WHEREAS, loyalty oaths may serve as a means of intimidating teachers and limiting their professional and private activities, often seriously interfering with the teaching of vital and controversial subjects; and

WHEREAS, throughout the country much loyalty oath legislation introduces totalitarian methods which destroy the democracy which they claim to defend:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers in convention assembled reiterate its disapproval and condemnation of loyalty oaths demanded of teachers individually or as a group; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT oppose the discriminatory selection of teachers for special investigation of their personal beliefs and lawful activities.