California School Teacher Suspended for Comparing Trump to Hitler, Refuses to Back Down, Is Reinstated
November 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
In an incident that got wide coverage in Northern California media, Frank Navarro, a Mountain View, California high school teacher was suspended for comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. School officials say they suspended him based on a single email complaint from a parent, which Navarro was not allowed to see.
Frank Navarro did not back down. He is a Holocaust scholar who has taught at Mountain View High School for 40 years. In interviews with regional and national media, he made evidence-based arguments for serious parallels between the rise of Hitler and Trump. In so doing, he turned a move to censor critical examination of the parallels between Trump and Hitler into an incident that put the issue out in society in a larger way.
An article in the Mountain View High School student newspaper quoted Navarro saying, “My intention was to connect the history of the 20th century with this ongoing history now ... I feel strongly about this: to stand quiet in the face of bigotry and to turn your eyes away from it is to back up the bigotry, and that’s not what I, or any history teacher, should be doing in our work.”
Tens of thousands of people have signed an online position that, in addition to re-instatement, demanded an apology from the school, “for attempting to intimidate a respected educator.” And it declares, “We will not stand for censorship and respectability politics.”
The suspension was originally in effect from Thursday, November 10 through November 16, but over the weekend school authorities called Navarro and told him to return to work on Monday, November 14. He told the Mountain View student newspaper, “Words cannot begin to express my gratitude and love in my heart that has come from the outpouring of responses from community, students, parents, former students.”
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