Carl Walz v. Albert E. Clark et al.

  • 1943
  • 1 vol. (0.1 linear foot)
  • Call no.: MS 387 bd

Carl Walz was a high school teacher in the town of Montague, Mass., in May 1942 when his status as a conscientious objector cost him his career. Although the School Committee claimed that Walz had been dismissed due to a "marked decrease" in demand for German, a non-required subject, and that his other courses were simply assigned to "higher priority" teachers, the key factor in his dismissal appears to have been his decision to register as a conscientious objector. With support from the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union, Walz sued the Montague School Committee for wrongful dismissal. He was unsuccessful.

Walz's suit against the Montague School District over his firing for being a conscientious objector was argued in the Superior Court held in Greenfield in 1943. The typescript is a verbatim transcript of testimony given, including direct and cross-examination of members of the School Board, and re-direct and re-cross examination.

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Background on Carl Walz

Carl Walz was a high school teacher in the town of Montague, Mass., in May 1942 when his status as a conscientious objector cost him his career. Born on Aug. 19, 1909, Walz was the third of four children born to Henry and Anna Walz, owners of a shoe store in Easthampton, Mass., and German-speaking emigrants from Austro-Hungary.

Having embarked on a career in education in Northampton by the early 1930s, Walz was hired to teach Latin and German at Turner's Fall High School by late in the decade. By the time the United States entered the Second World War, he had earned tenure, but nevertheless, after he registered as a conscientious objector his contract was rejected for renewal and he was dismissed from the faculty. The Montague School Committee claimed that his dismissal was due to a "marked decrease" in demand for German, a non-required subject, and they insisted that his other courses had simply been assigned to "higher priority" teachers. Walz, however, was unpersuaded. With support from the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union he sued the Committee for wrongful dismissal. He was apparently unsuccessful.

In 1943, Walz returned to his parents' home on Chapman Ave., in Easthampton, while he reestablished himself. He married Anna Bliss McConnell in July 1943, and after the war's end lived briefly in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Within a few years, though, he was again living in Easthampton, working as a carpenter. He died in Northampton on Apr. 3, 1998, and is buried in Brookside Cemetery in Easthampton.

Scope of collection

Walz's suit against the Montague School District over his firing for being a conscientious objector was argued in the Superior Court held in Greenfield in 1943. The typescript is a verbatim transcript of testimony given, including direct and cross-examination of members of the School Board, and re-direct and re-cross examination.

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Provenance

Gift of Stephen Siteman.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Aug. 2017.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Carl Walz v. Albert E. Clark et al. (MS 387 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Teachers--Massachusetts--Turners Falls
  • Turners Falls (Mass.)--History--20th century
  • World War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors

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