Dr. Randolph B. Smith Defends the Bill of Rights

Randolph Smith was called to testify on “Subversive Influence in the Educational Process” at hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate in September, 1952.

The following is the letter Smith wrote to the school community after his testimony:

September 26, 1952

Dear Parents:

No doubt most of you saw in yesterday’s papers referent to the Little Red School House and the fact that Adele Lithauer and I were called on Wednesday to testify before the sub-committee on education of the Senate Committee on Internal Security (McCarren Committee). Though it is still not clear just why we were called, the staff felt that you would like—probably at our first parent meeting—to have a report of what transpired and some of the important issues involved. I look forward very much to giving you such a report.

I presume we all recognize these days that just below the surface of such inquiries—and no doubt part of the pattern of attacks on education which have, unhappily, occurred in other parts of the country—there are issues which strike at the roots of our constitutional liberties, not to mention the solemn obligations teachers bear to children. Believing profoundly in our Constitution and the extraordinary wisdom of our founding fathers in establishing such guarantees in the Bill of Rights, we believe in the responsibility of every citizen, regardless of social attitude or political opinion, to sustain the constitution inviolate. Because of such convictions, it seemed important—to quote the language of the Declaration on Independence—“to oppose with manly firmness these violations on the rights of the people.”

But we look forward to giving you a fuller report soon. In the meantime, if you have any special personal concern which you would like to talk over with me, I hope you will not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Sincerely yours,

Randolph B. Smith


Click below to read a transcript of Dr. Smith’s testimony:

Smith Testimony Transcript