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ERIC Number: EJ811598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
A Silent Witness for Peace: The Case of Schoolteacher Mary Stone McDowell and America at War
Howlett, Patricia; Howlett, Charles F.
History of Education Quarterly, v48 n3 p371-396 Aug 2008
A 1964 television series, "Profiles in Courage," based on the late President John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer prize-winning book, featured the life of Mary Stone McDowell, a quiet, yet strong, teacher. Within peace circles, McDowell was a well-known figure. Yet what captured the interest of the show's producers was the stand she took during World War I. This quiet, unassuming Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Swarthmore College, and Quaker public school teacher in New York City, became the first educator in American history to test the constitutionality of the newly enacted loyalty oaths on religious, rather than political, grounds. Her documentary is all the more interesting in light of the fact that Cold War realities and impending American military involvement in Vietnam created a "Garrison State" mentality. The purpose of this paper is to point out the conflict between McDowell's Quaker pacifism--long protected as a matter of practice--and school-sponsored patriotism in wartime. Her case is the first in which school administrators deliberately chose to ignore the fine line between separation of church and state, thereby challenging both academic freedom and religious conscience within schoolhouse gates. (Contains 74 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A