A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused To Sign A Pro-Israel Oath, Fired

Submitted by: daegog 1 month ago in News & Politics


From The Intercept:  A children's speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told she can no longer work with the public school district after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she "does not" and "will not" engage in a boycott of Israel or "otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm" on that foreign nation. A lawsuit on her behalf will be filed this morning in a federal court in the Western District of Texas alleging a violation of her First Amendment rights of free speech and free expression.

*Credit to @LordJim as well.  2 submits at the same time.
There are 53 comments:
Male 688
I sell IT solutions to state and ed entities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  To get on the 'state blanket' I have to file paperwork that my company will not do business with Northern Ireland.  Is this any different? 
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Male 2,015
dkm458 No, it is not any different. They are both wrong.
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Male 9,621
dkm458 Why?
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Male 688
LordJim Lots of Irish descendants here in Mass.  Can't be on the road for 10 minutes without seeing at least two of these bumper stickers on some Masshole's car. 
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Male 9,621
dkm458 Is that legal? NI is in the EU (currently). If you want to do business with any of them, it's all.

Cutting NI companies out for sectarian reasons? Once again, I doubt your veracity.
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Male 2,240
If an employee of a public school refused to sign a pledge to not hang Negros or to not throw gay persons off tall buildings? Refused to say that was bad? Y'all would totally support that person, right? i mean "left".
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Male 2,015
gohikineko Doing either of things would be illegal.  It is unnecessary and pointless to have someone sign such a document.

Can you imagine if an employer made it that as a condition of employment as a primary school teacher in Texas, that you are required to do nothing that could be construed as criticism of the Toronto Maple Leafs?  Or that you must always support "dogs" in the "dogs vs cats" choice?

Cheering for a sports team has as much to do with her job as the policies and actions of Israel.
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Male 2,240
punko I use exaggerated and obviously stupid examples to illustrate the absurdity of BDS. Asking (demanding even) employees to not conduct economic terrorism against a US ally is not wrong.

How about here in Canada where Justin required summer-job fund applicants sign a pro-abortion declaration? Now THAT is illegal and immoral, but the liberal left cheered it on!
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Male 2,015
gohikineko Two wrongs don't make a right.
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Male 2,240
punko Not sure what that refers to... or how it might apply? But I do appreciate your being polite and staying on-topic :-)
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Male 2,015
gohikineko including political behavior policies on employment contracts is wrong

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Male 2,240
punko In a public school? 
And it isn't politics, it's anti-Semitism and supporting terrorism, asking teachers to not do that sounds like a fine idea to me... and yes, BDS is absolutely both those things, don't try to pretend otherwise.
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Male 2,015
gohikineko The State of Israel is a political construction, entirely different than the Jewish religion and the Jewish faith. 

All citizens have the right to political protest and political belief. Professional standards would dictate that while acting as a teacher, you steer clear of politics.  However, after school, evenings, weekends, days off, they should be able to do as any other free citizen.  Restriction of their away from work activities to suit a political/religious agenda is wrong.

I don't know what BDS stands for, and frankly, I don't care.  If I wish to boycott products from Israel, or the Dominican Republic, or China, this is my right. 

If sending money to a terrorist organization is illegal, then the law will take care of that, no need for an item in an employment contract. 
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Male 2,240
punko I think you'll find that reality says otherwise: things people do in their off-hours can indeed get them fired. Many companies clearly state things which you'll get fired for in their employment agreement. Same thing here: openly supporting political and economic terrorism is a fireable offense.

If it isn't about the Jews, why isn't Jordan or a dozen other nations being BDS targeted too? In Jordan the Palestinians are the majority there but have far fewer rights than they do in Israel... you need to learn a bit more before drawing your incorrect conclusions :/ It was always about being anti-Semitic, this is the same old hate with a different wrapper on it.
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Male 7,516
gohikineko This is why I cannot take conservatives seriously, their arguments are so bad and childish, one might consider them trolls.

There are black Americans... There are gay Americans and harming them (and anyone else for that matter) is morally wrong.  

Israel is a nation state, it is not apart of America and has nothing to do with America.  It is not even a reliable ally, like the UK or Canada.

Im not saying people should or should not boycott Israel, that is not the point.  No American should be compelled to do either.
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7,047
so she a "Nazi" (by today stranded)  
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Male 2,015
dm2754 Eh?  Why on earth would you equate refusal to sign a pledge of unconditional support to the country of Israel as a condition of employment in Texas, as being a "Nazi"?

It would be closer to the truth to link this employment requirement with it, instead.  It has a very strong jackboot feet to it.  These kinds of employment terms should be simply illegal, and therefore non-binding.
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7,047
punko intolerance,  anti-semitism etc. you must not fallow PC culture 
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Male 7,516
dm2754 That is a Hijab, not a MAGA hat.
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7,047
daegog that makes no sense   
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Male 5,887
daegog This just made my morning.
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170
Doesn't come as much of a surprise. The rise of right-wing extremism combined with a historical, unethical relationship with Israel == human beings used as pawns in an inhumane conflict.

This country that espouses to the The Land of the Free is about the furthest thing from these days. 

Hope and pray that America stops pandering to the least intelligent minds within its borders. Return to a time where great minds were respected and ideas meant something. 

But in a land where ratings and viewership is the only benchmark that is used to determine good journalism, this kind of thing will really only see the light of day on social media. And democracy continues to bleed out right before our very eyes.
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Male 293
Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.  Isn't that thing on her head illegal in Texas?
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Male 293
Looking at the negative votes, maybe I should have put a sarcasm alert.  Texas is a very conservative state.  I imagine anyone wearing a headwrap  is going to catch flak.  Why though would a public school employee have to afree to or sign anything like that?  That is definitely a First Ammendment issue
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170
david-morris Maybe they haven't yet succeeded in destroying ALL civil rights in Texas just yet.
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Male 4,558
I'm pro-Israel, definitely think Palestine are the aggressors in that conflict, and will (civilly) disagree with those who disagree with me, but this is ridiculous.
She has a right to protest, fullstop. But I also doubt she's the only one that had to sign the contract. She's just the only one who had a qualm with it. 
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Male 5,887
DuckBoy87 My wife is Jewish.  She does not support Israel in this aspect.

For the following reasons...

That was Palestine's land before WW2.  If you want to encroach upon others, ask nicely and live in peace together.  

It's pretty simple and global.  And righteous in the name of God.  Any God...

Share the land and be done with it...
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Male 2,240
kalron Pretty sure Italy has rights to all that land: the Romans did conquer it, that's extremely well documented... Greeks too! Persians, Egyptians... there's a long list eh?

Honestly: take a look at the maps of Europe over the millennia: borders are NOT fixed! They are not sacred! If you honestly believe Israel cannot alter its borders? I simply shake my head in your direction.

There's few things more pitiable than a self-gassing Jew...

Israel's Jews ARE sharing the land: it is the PLO and the Muslims who have made it their duty to drive every single Jew OUT of Israel. Either 'into the sea' or into the afterlife, they don't really care which.

Allah doesn't give a crap about you or your infidel beliefs, he will burn you in hell for all eternity for not converting to Islam.
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Male 4,558
kalron See, I'm not a fan of that argument. And before it was Palestine, it was governed by the Ottoman Empire. Should we give it to the Ottomans? (Obviously they no longer exist)
But before the Ottomans, it was ruled by others, and others before that, and others before that, ad infinitum.

What about the United States? The land was ruled by the Indian Nations. Should the US relinquish all the land and hand it back to the Indian Nations?

The way I see it, Palestine lost a war with Israel, and to the victor goes the spoils. Israel has tried to live in cohabitation but when rockets get launched from hospitals and schools, Israel either has to retaliate, or roll over and die.
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Male 9,621
DuckBoy87  to the victor goes the spoils
I would suggest that this only applies where the victor is willing and able to extirpate the loser. The Norman conquest, for example, was only secure following the effective genocide of the rebellious North.

If you take people's homes, farms, land and dignity but you don't wipe them out? They are always going to want their stuff back. 
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Male 2,240
LordJim Look at the maps of Europe over the millennia: borders and territory are not fixed. there's plenty of land passing from nation to nation and yet y'all still (mostly) get along without terrorism. Except the irish, and even they stopped eventually. :-)

I don't see any Mennonites (my ancestry) bombing civilians in Russia because of what Lenin and Stalin did, do you? There is no justification at all for terrorism except against an invading army. Israel (and the Jews) have every right in the world to be there, Palestinians have their own homeland: Jordan. Now they have a second one: Gaza! they won't be happy until every Jew in Israel is dead, it is highly one-sided.
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Male 5,887
DuckBoy87 And therein lies the problem.  You view Palestine as the aggressor.  However, Israel has been the instigator of violence as well.

Like I said, it's not about "spoils of war" but rather searching for another solution and trying to live along side each other in peace.  Israel really hasn't tried this, there was no cohabitation, they just forced the Palestinians out when they wanted to expand.  Which in turn caused them to retaliate.  It's a vicious cycle.

Let me quickly amend my previous statement, while my wife as well as myself don't support Israel to that degree, neither of us support Palestine either.  Both are at fault, or better yet, war is at fault.  It's not the solution we approve of.

And yes, I am one of those that feels Native American Indian Tribes deserved much better restitution.  It's one of the things I am not proud of when calling myself an American.  Something I am proud of is that we have learned to cohabitate with multi-cultures.  Unfortunately with the uprise of xenophobia and nationalism it appears that some would want to go backwards in that aspect.  All it does is produce the cycle of violence we are discussing.
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Male 2,015
DuckBoy87 "only one who had a qualm with it"  or perhaps the only one with the moral backbone to refuse.
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Male 4,558
punko Good point! But it is Texas, so my guess is that most everyone down there is pro-Israel.
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Male 11
DuckBoy87 This isn't limited to Texas.  So far, 26 states have similar non-Israeli-discrimination laws enacted.  I expect there's significant lobbying at work.
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Male 5,887
speter This is also true...and scary...
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Male 2,015
DuckBoy87 I wonder if folks, in their mind, separate the state religion from the state itself?  Certainly one can support one without supporting the other.
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Male 5,887
punko In the United States, you should not have to separate one religion from another.  You have the freedom to choose which one you belong to without the influence of the government or the public opinion.  Or you can choose not to belong to any.  It should not matter as long as you are a citizen and abide by the freedoms our Constitution allows us and abide by those laws.  Those laws protect us from influence from outside Countries\States as well, including Israel.  There is no State or Federal religion...nor should there be.
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Male 2,015
kalron 

The US and many other countries strive to separate Church and State - to operate as Secular entities.  However, many countries do not.   It is not for us to say that they are wrong or that they are right - each country sets its laws for itself.

Many within the US (for example) constantly strive to place religious trappings on to the State.   Consider the changes wrought in the 20th century regarding the American Pledge of Allegiance.

It is should be perfectly acceptable to criticize the government of a country without being accused of discrimination against the primary religion of that country, whether it is a state religion or not.

For example, complaining about the policies of Italy should not be considered to be Anti-Catholic. 

Unfortunately, many see any criticism of the state of Israel as being antisemitic.  

This, of course, is illogical.
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Male 5,887
punko I totally agree with this, which is why my wife can be against Israel's policies in this matter but still be Jewish.
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Male 2,240
punko Islam IS the State: the State is Islam: there is NO separation.
Why can all those Muslim nations be ruled by religion, but a single Jewish nation cannot?
Antisemitism, that's why. Logical yes? It's a code-word, a "dog-whistle" to perpetrate hatred of the Jews.
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Male 2,015
gohikineko So Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have the same foreign policy as Indonesia and Iran?  The same domestic Policy? the same relationship with its international neighbors?  they all get along in peace and harmony?

According to your statement, they are all the same.

So by criticizing certain Indonesian fishing practices in international waters, I am being anti-islamic against the citizens in Pakistan?  By condemning the Saudi ban on women driving, I am upsetting folks in Iran?  All complaints against the Saudi government actions in the Khashoggi case, implicate the people of Libya?

Give your head a shake. 
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Male 2,240
punko They follow different versions of Islam, duh! And of course different regions have different priorities, resources and neighbors... so of course they have 'different governments'. United by Islamic principles.

I didn't say they ARE all the same but that the Koran tells them they will BE all the same under the final great Leader before judgement day. He will both unify the tribes and conquer the entire world: they'll bend a knee or lose their heads. That is predicted in their Holy Scripture which most Muslims fervently believe is going to happen: not maybe. In their lifetime or not is the only question.
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170
DuckBoy87 all the more reason to protect her right to not be pro Israel. Cause there are a good many reasons not to be, if one is reasonably up on the issue. 
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Male 4,558
todd_dirks Again, respectfully disagree, but we'll leave that discussion for another day.
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Male 46,093
Cha-Ching !  I wish I could get fired for that, I could use the money.
This is a guaranteed win.
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Male 937
Gerry1of1 Yeah - I need to update my retirement plan.  Right now it consists of either finding a suitcase full of money or being hit by a car driven by a drunk billionaire who wants to avoid negative publicity.

Being fired for something like this seems a much better plan.  Maybe I can seek out employment at places like this . . .
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Male 5,341
"Why would any American ever be required to sign a Pro-OTHER NATION Oath?" Do you seriously not know or are you being factious? Who do you think really holds all the power in the U.S. and has for a long, long time, a president or some political party? That's a laugh.
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Male 7,516
trimble Well?  Are you going to share?
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Male 9,621
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Male 5,887
I can see if this was a private school situation there not being a case, but to enforce this on a public level is down right dirty.  I hope she wins for the sake of her students.
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Male 2,015
kalron I hope she wins for the sake of the country.
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Male 5,887
punko If only...
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