Subversive Historian – 03/03/09

{Today’s lesson in “patriotic” irony: How those “Communist” teachers would have you all thinking alike!}

The Feinberg Law

Back in the day on March 3rd, 1952, the United States Supreme Court upheld a New York state statute that effectively banned so-called “Communists,” from teaching in public schools. The 6-3 decision returned by the justices effectively declared the Feinberg Law constitutional. Passed in New York three years earlier, the law required the state board of regents to list and identify so-called subversive organizations and dismiss teachers who had been or were currently members of them. In the authored opinion, Justice Sherman Minton wrote, “A teacher works in a sensitive area in a schoolroom. There he shapes the attitude of young minds towards the society in which they live. In this, the state has a vital concern.”

Showing the unquestioned conformity of thought already produced by the educational system, the New York Times uncritically echoed the decision when it wrote, “the state had a constitutional right to protect the immature minds of children in its public schools from subversive propaganda.”

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2 responses to “Subversive Historian – 03/03/09

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