An act to "prevent the teaching of atheistic communism," in Massachusetts colleges and preparatory schools is scheduled for a hearing before the Education Committee of the state legislature early next month.
Representatives Ralph W. Sullivan of Dorchester and John Collins of Roxbury field the measure. House Bill 442, with the General Court.
Under the terms of the proposed bill, any educational institution that knowingly teaches Communist doctrines or employs a member of the Communist Party on its faculty will be made ineligible for the tax exemption status granted to most private educational organizations in this state.
Sullivan, the chairman of the Education Committee of the General Court, said he thought there was a definite danger of Communist infiltration onto the faculties of schools and colleges in the commonwealth. He claimed that Communist influence already exists in several colleges in the state but declined to mention names.
Bill Just a Stimulus
"I don't expect my bill to become law," Sullivan said. "Its purpose is to stimulate the trustees of educational institutions in the state to clean their own houses of Communist influence voluntarily by letting them know that we are ready to consider legislation to force them to do so."
The legislator said that his bill was a protection for academic freedom rather than restriction of it. "Academic freedom is dead where Communism exists," he explained. "We are not free to tolerate what means destruction of freedom."