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Newspaper Page Text
THE TEACHERS' FEDERATION, GUARDIANS
OF LIBERTY ANP THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
BY N. D. COCHRAN
Those who have been looking for the truth without prejudice have
doubtless found the same thing I have found in the general tread 'of let
ters to The Day Book on the school question and that is that many
Guardians of Liberty lose sight of the main issue in their attacks on the
Catholic heirarchy. I get letters in every mail, and most of them touch
on the religious issue. Some are signed, but many are anonymous; and,
quite naturally, those that are anonymous are the most bitterly ahusive.
I think we would get farther in pursuit of the truth if nobody would write
anything for publication he is afraid to sign his name to. For then each
of us would be more careful as to the truth of his charges. "
In the matter of the discharged teachers and the Teachers' Federation,
It does not appear that the teachers were discharged because of their creed,
but rather because of their prominence in membership in the Teachers'
Federation. Yet much of the support in the school board to Jake Loeb's
war on the Federation comes from Guardians of Liberty who evidently
believe the Catholic hierarchy is plotting against the public school system.
I don't know whether or not the Catholic hierarchy is plotting against
our public school system, but even if it is nothing has appeared to con
vince me that it controls the Teachers' Federation, or that the Teachers'
Federation, or any of its members, is hostile to the public school system.
It may be that here and there is a teacher of Catholic faith whose
loyalty to her church supercedes every other emotion or interest; but even
if that be true I believe it to be the exception and not the rule. And we
could well dispense with the exceptions from the school system.
I do believe that with the great majority of efficient teachers, no mat
ter what their religious belief, no interference with their school work as
teachers would be tolerated from any church authority. In other words,
I believe the efficient teacher is efficient because she loves her work and
the children she is teaching.
I don't believe any church organization, priesthood or clergy can or
does control the Teachers' Federation. If I did .believe so, I would be
strongly opposed to the Federation, for I am uncompromisingly in favor
of the separation of church and state, and will go as far, as who goes
farthest to defend our public school system as the most important bul
wark of democracy.
What this priest or that bishop or cardinal thinks of the American
public school system doesn't disturb me in the slightest But I would be
disturbed to know that any school teacher or organization of school
teachers were hostile to the public school system, and would say that it
would be better for such teacher and such organization to be outside the
In my judgment the 68 teachers picked for the first slaughter prove
all that I have contended all along that fear of Catholic influence had
nothing td do with the LoeTj program. It wasn't fear that the Catholic
nierarchy controls the Federation that inspired the attack on that organ
ization, but rather the fact that through the Federation the teachers were
able to repel the assaults on the school system by job-hunting, machine
building politicians, both Catholic and Protestant And also the Important