Monday, January 24

History teacher Frank Navarro put on paid administrative leave for comments on Trump, Navarro said

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Administration put teacher Frank Navarro on “paid administrative leave” on Thursday, Nov. 10. Navarro, who teaches World Studies, Civics/Economics, and Special Education said that his leave was prompted when the parent of a student in Navarro’s fourth period World Studies class sent an email to Associate Superintendent Eric Goddard. According to Navarro, the email said that the student was upset by Navarro’s statements which equated Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler.

Navarro denies making such statements about Trump, as it would have been “sloppy historical thinking.” He met with Goddard and Principal David Grissom, who both decided to place him on paid administrative leave until Wednesday, Nov. 16. According to Navarro, Goddard and Grissom also plan to speak with the student who now wants to withdraw from Navarro’s history class and its upcoming fieldtrip.

Grissom said that he is unable to comment on the situation because he is not at liberty to release information about personnel.

According to Navarro, he wanted to convey facts about the election and show how present day events parallel historical ones. He said that he made connections between Trump and Hitler, but never equated them. As a Mandel Fellow of the U.S. Holocaust Museum who has studied at the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Navarro has spent years analyzing Hitler, and said he feels that his lessons were factually accurate.

“My intention was to connect the history of the 20th century with this ongoing history now. It is consequential. As a fellow, as a writer, I don’t see any other way around it,” Navarro said. “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.”

Senior Justin Allen is currently in Navarro’s first period Civics and Economics class. Allen said that Navarro held one-sided class discussions during which students were told to find racist quotes from Donald Trump and read them out loud.

“I do agree with some of [Trump’s] policies, and when I’d try to talk about it, [Navarro] just told me to shut up or said something super rude,” Allen said. “I like to treat people the way I want to be treated, and I would never treat a teacher that way. That’s super disrespectful.”

Navarro denied making such comments.

“I never told a student shut up, never ever uttered that. I have agreed with comments about Trump, especially regarding economics,” Navarro said. “I do not feel bad because it did not happen.”

According to freshman Krish Gujral, Navarro was absent from his fifth period World Studies class, but came in briefly to tell students that he had been put on administrative leave for sharing his opinions on Trump. Navarro said that he did not want the reason for his absence to be a secret.

Gujral has participated in many of Navarro’s election discussions, and said that he didn’t find Navarro’s lessons to be offensive or one-sided.

“It wasn’t really opinion,” Gujral said. “It was pretty factual stuff; I thought it was okay. He told us to compare Trump’s policies with Clinton’s.”

Freshman Kyle Do, who is also in Navarro’s fifth period World Studies class, said that he believes Navarro’s leave was reasonable because Navarro “said a bunch of stuff that Trump supporters would feel offended about,” as his discussions focused on one-sided facts that criticized Trump.

According to Navarro, Grissom sent an email to teachers on Nov. 9 telling them to be neutral when speaking about political issues. However, Navarro said that being neutral would mean ignoring the rhetoric and strategies that Trump used throughout the election.

“He wanted us to be neutral in discussing the election. But neutral means overlooking and not talking about the way Trump talks about Mexican history. Should I not say that?” Navarro said. “Should I not say that Hillary has experience as a senator for eight years, as Secretary of State? I refuse to be intimidated from talking about the facts. I see this as an issue of free speech.”

In the email, Grissom said that he believes neutrality is necessary because the classroom is not a space for teachers to express their political views. 

“Please remember that while our classrooms can be a place to dialogue and have conversations regarding our democratic process, we must do so without sharing our personal political beliefs,” Grissom said in the email to staff. “I hope that you are willing to engage your students in conversations regarding the election if you feel it is appropriate, but remain neutral.”


Update Nov. 11 at 7:40 p.m.:

According to an interview with District Superintendent Jeff Harding conducted by Mercury News, Navarro may return by Monday.

“We are interested in getting Frank back in the classroom…We’re just trying to maintain our due diligence,” Harding said in the interview. “We have a heightened emotional environment right now with the election. It’s always a challenge to maintain a line in a classroom.”


Update Nov. 14 at 7:45 a.m.: 

At around 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13, Superintendent Jeff Harding informed Navarro that he would be returning to school on Monday. 

While Navarro originally said that his leave was due to comparisons between Adolf Hitler and President-elect Donald Trump, Harding later said that Navarro’s paid leave was for a different reason which he is not at liberty to disclose.

“The administrators involved were responding to a specific parent and student complaint of a serious nature,” Harding said in an email on Nov. 13. “It is our duty to investigate such a complaint to ensure the emotional safety of all of our students.” 

According to Harding, Navarro was absent during the investigation of the complaint, but will now be reinstated as administration is now “confident that the environment [is]safe for students.”

However, Navarro still maintains that he was told that he was put on paid administrative leave for his comments on Trump and Hitler.

 “The assistant superintendent said from the email that…I called Trump Hitler,” Navarro said. “I am mystified [by Harding’s reasons]because those were the only comments made.”

As a result, the headline now says “History teacher Frank Navarro put on paid administrative leave for comments on Trump, Navarro said.”


Please be mindful of your comments. Anything that defames an individual, is rude to commenters below, attacks students, or uses obscenities will be removed. 



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  1. not cool at all of these students to absolutely twist the words of a respected educator at mountain view, clearly trying to teach his students the difference between right and wrong. mr. navarro is beloved and only speaks out on what’s right. not cool at all.

    • In contrast to the article headline, the issue here is it appears He willing violated School Board Policy, and willing defied the School Administrators

  2. The oracle will do and say whatever they can to try and get people to actually read the newspapers rather than just throw them in the trash. All the oracle will do is twist and spin one story into another one to try and get readers. Not cool oracle

    • This article is in no way spinning or twisting anything, Xia has gotten both sides of the conversation and stated facts. This is hardly an opinion article, get your head out of the dark.

    • This is a high school newspaper not the National Enquirer. No one here is getting paid. Ergo no one really cares how many eyeballs they get on the newspaper. This is a place for young writers to hone their craft and Xia has done a great job of that. There is no opinion here. Just fact.

      • I concur, Ms. Xia’s article reads like a professional piece of balanced journalism. If that is the career she chooses she is on the right path.

        • Very good writing by Xia. She has done a factual report – not opinion.

          Politics should not be brought inside the classroom. Looks like Navarro did just that. Looks like Navarro is a Clinton supporter and used the bully pulpit of the classroom to further the Clinton agenda and propaganda. It is a shame.

          • “Politics should not be brought inside the classroom.” What kind of history were you taught in school? Almost all of history is political and it is our job to understand it, interpret it, analyze it and learn from it. YOUR politics are very clear from your post – so it’s hard to take very seriously in terms of serious discourse on whether there are similarities between the situation we currently face and Germany in the 1930’s. Do you not feel any empathy for the Latinos, immigrants, women, the disabled, Muslims, and Jews that Trump and his campaign disparaged to win support in this election? Can you not see how these how these groups have fear in our country now?

    • This makes no sense. This article is very balanced and objective…try to put your own biases aside and think logically when you read the article again.

  3. Mr. Navarro would never treat a student like this article is stating. He is kind, compassionate, hardworking and has dedicated his entire life to history. He has educated the youth to be on the right side of history. Me. Navarro has been a teacher at MVHS for the past 40 years. What the Oracle has written and has done is shameful. Trump is a misogynistic, sexist, homophobic, bigot. I had Mr. Navarro as a teacher. He is a great man and a fabulous teacher. MVHS should be embarrassed. I hope that student leaves his class, I’m sure he won’t be missed.

    • I took World Studies with Navarro two years ago, and all I remember from that class was fun discussions and interesting lectures. However, he did, on many occasions, tell students to shut up, including a student who was still learning English and trying very hard to integrate into American society and learn the social norms. I understand where the students in the article get their concerns from. I can definitely see how the discussions could have been one-sided. Not surprised at all about the contents of this article.

    • Concerned teacher on

      Let’s keep in mind this decision was made by adults not students. Disparaging the students doesn’t solve anything and in fact is exactly playing into fear and prejudice. Protest the decision not the students.

    • What did the Oracle do besides cover the story objectively? I just don’t understand. They had nothing to do with Navarro being put on leave…they are students.

  4. Failing to discuss the parallels between Donald Trump and Hitler would be a failure on the part of the teacher. It is a fact that Donald Trump is endorsed by and has emboldened hate groups. Not discussing the rampant racism, sexism and xenophobia of his campaign would be wrong. Not wanting to hear about any of that because you are an upper middle class male who won’t be affected by trumps bigotry doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed.

    • FACT: when progressives don’t get their way or disagree with someone they call people names and use big words that end in -ist, -ism, or -phobia

      FACT: progressives love to play the victim card

      • All of the “big words” this person used are accurate descriptions of what has happened in Trump’s campaign. I don’t see how anyone is playing the victim card, except for the student who ran to the school administration because a teacher opened a dialogue with him. I had Mr. Navarro as well and he would never tell a student to shut up “or something like that”.

      • West Valley College Educator on

        Those are not facts, Anonymous, those are opinions. Facts are the bits of evidentiary detail that support an opinion. Opinions and anecdotes, sadly, are all that we seem to deal in these days…on both sides of an argument.

        Bravo to Mr. Navarro for discussing the parallels that exist between 1930’s Germany and the US today. They are not exactly equal in premise and Trump is not Hitler; but the scapegoating of minorities is chillingly similar. I am truly saddened that some haven’t yet learned to question their opinions when confronted with facts. I wish the parent had gone directly to Mr.Navarro to ask his side; students frequently hear only part of what is said, as most parents know all too well.

        That said, as a human I know that occasionally I fail to treat others, students included, with the respect they are due. I am pleased that Mr. Navarro is held in such high esteem that many of his students think him incapable of that, but that does not appear unanimous.

        I agree with the teacher who wrote that the verbal attacks on other students is counterproductive and exactly what many find troubling in the first place. It seems the superintendent is prepared to return Mr. Navarro to the classroom where he belongs.

  5. My husband has been a respected teacher at Mountain View High School for 41 years. He has taught Modern European History for many years and has some of the highest passing rates in the nation. He teaches Special Education with incredible compassion. We have many scrapbooks filled with thank you letters from former students stating how he has positively influenced their lives! Many of his students are adults now and we are invited to their weddings, birthday parties and to sit at their table. I find this incredulous! He is a Mandel Fellow with the US Holocaust Museum and fights for tolerance, free speech and the rights of all.He is a world traveller taking students often on trips to Europe and broadening in their world.

    • I am forever grateful to Mr. Navarro for the passion and rich discussion he brought to our MEHAP class some 15-odd years ago. These attempts to stifle his challenges to students’ understandings of policy as a history teacher are truly horrifying. I am disgusted by the MVHS admin.

    • I am physically and emotionally sick after hearing our administration’s response to this situation. Mr. Navarro is a loving, compassionate teacher who deserves more respect and trust than this after serving our community for 40 years.

      • I would strongly agree with this. Mr. Navarro is a great teacher to have and I enjoy his class greatly. He should have his paid leave denied. He does deserve more respect and trust, especially if he has worked for the museum of the Holocaust.

    • Mr. Navarro is an amazing teacher and I am privileged to have taken his class. My older sister and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. A truly great teacher and great man.

    • When you do a thing with your whole soul and everything that is noble within you, you always find your counterpart. Camille Pissarro

    • I am a retired teacher from MVLA. Frank Navarro is a great history teaher and a true supporter of social justice. I worked with Frank for 14 years and was always imptessed with his compassion and kindness to students. He is without doubt, a teacher who forces students to think and in my opinion using Trump’s own words in a class discussion is an example of facing history.

  6. Teachers are people too, who have their own opinions… he is not a elementary teacher, he is not a middle school teacher he is a high school teacher, teaching YOUNG ADULTS who need to be able to have conversations of all sides. That is the problem with our world right now… we need to have open minds and hear others thoughts even if they aren’t the same as our own. Mr. Navarro sorry the district didn’t back you up 🙁 #classof2006

  7. I’ve known Mr. Navarro for several years. He is an intelligent, fair minded man and teacher who is interested in students. It is unbelievable to me that the administration would bow down in the face of the current political climate and silence someone who wants students to look at many sides of history and think for themselves.

  8. College is a place for academic debate and critical thinking. Many college professors ARE discussing this important issue. Just pick up a copy of today’s USA Today and read the front page.

  9. I had the fortune of taking Mr. Navarro’s AP European history class and am grateful for the time we spent discussing politics. This class is a big reason why I was engaged in the 2012 election and continue to follow politics. Isn’t the whole purpose of studying history to see the relevance the present day?

    While strong in his opinions, I’ve never seen Mr. Navarro be disrespectful towards students or those around him. I remember engaging in plenty of civil discourse during the school year in which everyone was welcome and encouraged to share their opinions.

    Mr. Navarro is extremely knowledgeable and it’s a disservice to MVHS students to not allow him to disseminate that information. Thank you to Mr. Navarro for always being so open and unafraid to tackle controversial topics.

  10. Okay we all know Mr. Novarro didn’t tell anyone to shut up, we can get past that now. Perhaps what Mr. Allen is saying is that he didn’t facilitate a platform for the other side to convey their thoughts, which also sounds uncharacteristic of the beloved teacher.

  11. thats a bold statement to make about an educator sharing his opinion on one of the biggest elections of our time. Just because your community college teachers aren’t talking about it doesn’t mean that the rest of the nation isn’t still reeling from the election cycle and trying to comprehend it. If a teacher isn’t there to facilitate comprehension, what are they there to do?

  12. Mr. Navarro is a respected, competent and effective teacher. He has been at Mountain View High School for 41 years. He is knowledgeable, compassionate and passionate. He makes historical parallels between Hitler and Trump, a family complains and he is put on administrative leave? Fire the Principal of Mountain View High School. This is outrageous! SHAME ON YOU MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL

  13. Frank Navarro is a respected and admired teacher He is married
    To my niece Lissa. I have been with Frank to the beach, to downtown
    mountain View to San Francisco and young people approach him
    And say thanks for the classes. He’s been invited the weddings of
    His former students. 40 Years of positive influence
    On young adults
    Our democracy, our culture is being challenged by the election
    Of Donald Trump. Frank Navarro should not be yet another

  14. Mr Navarro is there to TEACH not to give HIS OPINIONS. In his own words “he had been put on administrative leave for sharing his opinions”

    • Sharing different opinions is part of teaching: In my opinion VanGogh was a great painter, can I say that if I am teaching Art History? In my opinion, the poem “Stopping in The Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost is about more that a dirt path. Can I say that If I teach English? In my opinion, Lincoln’s gift for oratory, had a great deal with the outcome of the Civil War. Can I say that if I teach history? In my opinion, the broad availability of news photography to show scenes of the war in Viet Nam had a great deal to do with the backlash against that war. Can I say that if I teach History? Of course! None of these things can be proved, as we do not have the ability to replay history without them. They are opinions of well educated, well read, professionals who have studied their area of expertise…. LIKE MR. NAVARRO.

  15. So teachers shouldn’t have a voice, shouldn’t state facts, shouldn’t speak about what is going on today in our country, the injustices that arise in our world. I’m afraid that you are indeed the idiot.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    -Martin Niemöller

  16. The administrators do not seem to care about caring or competent teachers. Look at what happened with Mr. Seitelman 2 years back. The Principal and several of the Vice Principals are not respected or liked by most of the faculty and students. Wish we could remove them and bring back the passion of teaching to several key teachers.

  17. Mountain View High School over the past 20 years has been highly regarded as an excellent school with some of the best teachers in the country. It is incumbent on any history or civics teacher worth his or her weight to have this type of conversation. From a factual perspective, the parallels between the xenophobic language that surfaced during this election and those in Europe during the early 1900’s are clear to all. What is unclear is how the comparisons were presented to this class. It is highly probable that this student only heard or understood a small part of this concept, and even more possible that his or her parents were given one version of the events. However, what I see as more disturbing about this situation is that a highly regarded 40+ year teacher would be put on administrative leave for this incident. I’m certain a week does not go by at MVHS that a student and/or parent does not lodge a complaint about something a teacher said or did during class. How many of those teachers were put on immediate paid administrative leave and escorted from the school? Don’t the students normally just get the option to be moved to a different classroom if they tell an administrator that they feel uncomfortable with the teachers comments or sense of humor? Isn’t this a time when the administrators should be focusing on how to bring all of the students and staff together in order to help all members of the MVHS community feel safe (including Trump supporters)? This is an action that will, no doubt, further divide those with different opinions on campus. No student or teacher should be disrespected, nor should they be denied due process. It was a testament to the students desire to learn that they were in class on Thursday and not out in protest. However, with this unprecedented treatment of Mr. Navarro, who knows what will transpire now.

  18. Shame on you Oracle and Mountain View High School.

    Mr. Navarro has spent his life advocating for critical thinking and a long duree approach to history and its relevance in our everyday lives today. To make historical parallels to the current situation is not inappropriate. In fact it’s something we ALL should be doing.

    It is reprehensible to see my former high school reprimand a teacher for not only doing their job, but doing it well.

    Any comparison of the facts to the state of America today leads to a comparison of similar historical circumstances. It is inevitable. It does not imply political bias one way or the other. What does imply political bias towards the new regime is the behavior of the school in dealing with this witch hunt surrounding Mr. Navarro. Let’s look at the historical parallels of what they’re doing to him—because it sounds a lot like what the Third Reich did to academics and scientists in the build up to World War II. They tried to silence them for looking at the patterns and facts of history and expressing concern at the repetition.
    Shame on you Mountain View High School.

    Mr. Navarro is among the best people you’ve ever had on staff . He was an inspiration to me and is someone I’ve long considered one of my primary life mentors. His classes have been more invaluable to me in my career and life than the ten plus years of graduate school and professional and personal life that have happened in the interim. He is a remarkable man. And MVHS was once a remarkable school.

    All of us should be signing the petition on ( to protest this. All of us should be calling the school, the schoolboard, the state, and the board of education to protest this. And all of us should be sending Mr. Navarro our love and support right now. #LoveTrumpsHate

    • Why shame on Oracle? It’s a student publication objectively covering the story. I agree with you, and don’t think Navarro deserved to be put on leave, but I don’t see what Oracle did wrong.

  19. As a former student of MVHS, i am suprised to hear that a teacher was voicing his political opinion to students. This isn’t a collegiate debate course. It’s a history course. Looking back on MVHS, I’ve come to the realization that majority of the teachers are liberals and all favor the corruption of the Democratic party. Interesting how Mr. Navarro only made his students look at Donald Trump’s speeches and to ignore the corruption of Hillary Clinton. Lets look at Benghazi, lets look at her giving $400 billion to Iran in nuclear weapons, the vacuum that she created for ISIS, the Clinton Foundation. Learn how to teach, not preach your democratic political opinion where it isnt welcome.

    • Steven Sofranko on

      If the course is an AP course, it is a college-level course, and college-level thinking should be expected of instructors and students, not coddling.

      • It’s one thing to compare the similarities between Hitler and Trump and it’s another to have your students solely focus on the negative(s) of our President-elect and make Clinton look innocent. Having one-sided discussions about politics is wrong, especially when there are students that have political views that oppose his. In addition, Hillary’s one of the most corrupt politicians to ever work for our government, but he didn’t want to talk about that with his students? Interesting….

  20. An MVHS parent on

    I find it apalling that this has happened. If Mr. Navarro was citing “on the record” statements made by Trump, there can be no offense taken by supporters. If Mr. Navarro invented bigoted statements and then attributed them to Trump I would understand this reaction by the administration. Beyond what does or doesn’t offend us there exists a literal truth. If T said something, then we have a right to look at that. If, as has been widely investigated and commented upon, his behaviors can be likened to those of Hitler, it would be inappropriate not to EDUCATE the students as to that fact. Just because a truth is uncomfortable we cannot pretend it isn’t the truth. Just because Trump supporters may hate the fact that they have supported a man who the KKK loves, a man who has made racial profiling and scapegoating a thing we are “allowed” to do again; it does not however take away from the fact that these statements are on record. It would be like saying that since I am offended by evolution, no student is allowed to hear about it.
    The fact that the administration is being obstructionist to education is of great concern. Mr. Navarro should be celebrated for making it real for students. The same students who were offended by Trump’s own behaviors being repeated back to them would probably not have made a peep had some derogatory thing been said against our current President. This mollycoddling of the “tender sentiments” of students has to be stopped. This kids are about to be adults and will have to make big choices in their lives. If we give them only the information they, or their parents, are comfortable with, we do a great disservice to them and to the education they are suppposed to get at MVHS.

  21. I think both the Superintendent and Mr. Grissom care a lot about our district and our school. But I think they completely missed on this one and it reflects a bit of a blind spot they seem to have on discussing and addressing racism and bigotry. Mr. Navarro clearly was making comments to try to educate his students – and the outpouring of support from students on the petition for his reinstatement certainly shows how thoughtful and caring he has taught students to be over the years. Raising the question about the parallels between current events and the rise of Nazi power in Germany is hardly controversial – one can visit any respected media site and find articles making that link and discussing how we, as citizens of this great country, need to think about that and address that. Suspending a history teaching for making this historical link is offensive and exactly the type of suppression of free speech and academics that signifies a country and school moving in the wrong direction – even in a public school. There is not a day that goes by without a good humanities teacher expressing an opinion and challenging students to express their opinions. But I am not shocked by the administrative response. This is the same team that did not suspend a single student when Nazi symbols and other bigotry were used by students to win support in last year’s ASB elections (a story the Oracle also chose to not to address). How are MVHS students ever going to learn about fighting bigotry and hatred if the administration always ignores the discussion….and suspends a teacher for inviting the discussion? For the student, who was offended, how about developing a thoughtful response for why this situation is not similar to Germany in the 1930’s? If you can make that argument, you can educate your teacher and your classmates. If you can’t make that argument, then maybe you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself why not. Finally, I hope teachers are outraged over this and make a major statement in support of Mr. Navarro.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments. As for you final statement, I agree and I hope parents do as well. Parents have a lot of power.

    • It is especially galling because there are actual live broadcasts on many major networks of Trump supporters at his rallies shouting Jew-S-A as well as holding up swastikas. Should those networks not show that because it portrays some Trump supporters are Nazi sympathizers? Of course not, It happened and it is news. It is not just an opinion. Trump does have white supremacist support. Trump has never disavowed their support either although his campaign manager did.

    • So Donald Trump can get away with making racist comments and insult minorities …and he gets to become the president of the US. But a teacher helping the kids analyze those comments is investigated because a parent took offense. Where is justice? Lets not get carried away by people like the parents that put pressure on the administration. Let the schools/teachers do their job.

    • Is this the beginning of what we thought would never happen in a Democracy?I am old enough to have friends who were children
      in both Germany and one in Italy.i have heard the stories of
      a favorite teacher suddenly no longer teaching,of certain books no longer available,playmates who were absent,permanently.To quote a very old saying,`Those who don`t
      know history are doomed to repeat it`I am thankful to to Frank Navarro for reminding his students of past history.It`s not the 1930`S in Europe,but somehow it`s beginning to feel like it

  22. Parent of MVHS grad on

    My son had little interest in history but took AP European History to learn more about recent history involving our own family background (all German). He loved the class because he learned so much, but especially because he was challenged to think about how & why events occurred. We have to exam events today as well and not turn away from them, even if it’s uncomfortable. There are too many examples of people living in fear, and fear often results in isolating & blaming others.

    Unless it seems such a stretch or affront to examine some parallels between how Trump and how Hitler became national leaders (which is not the same as equating Trump and Hitler), my own young adult children have all brought this up months ago so it’s hardly something that no one but Mr. Navarro could consider discussing. History shouldn’t exist as a museum exhibit but so we can learn something from it today.

    Education & becoming an adult also includes learning to respectfully challenge what is said (in class or otherwise) when there are differences or concerns. Parents, teachers, administrators should be encouraging and modeling this before focusing on punishment first.

    Even though my son graduated a few years ago, his appreciation for Mr. Navarro as a teacher made him take the time to tell me about this. That’s the kind of teacher kids need.

  23. Just saying, he was warned by the administration to stay neutral when discussing the election and he did it anyway. No matter whether he was in the right or wrong, he didn’t listen to his superiors.

    • There’s an unending list of people who listened to their “superiors” and followed orders. The ones that are remembered by history are almost always universally reviled. A few are celebrated. That being said, this is a tempest in a teapot. The administration should be ashamed for overreacting and acting like tools.

      • Grissom needs to go. I can’t stand that him with his rasict comments all the years I’ve been there. I can’t believe I didn’t take action all those years to have him gone. A lot of students feel the same about him. #Grissomout

    • I would hardly call two administrators “superiors” and I totally agree with the other MVHS Parent. The two school administrators do not represent the community that they live in. They are not superior. They just happen to momentarily be uncharge of administering the schools to federal, state, and community standards.

      – Following the orders of your superiors – ah US History: Lt. Calley and Col. North. Orders to “stand down” or be neutral are sometime immoral.

  24. parent of alumni on

    The best teacher inspires students to THINK. Sometimes that means presenting different ideas. Frank Navarro is an inspiring teacher who brought history to life and made it meaningful. He is the reason my student continued to study History in college and beyond. Becoming an informed, educated adult includes learning to challenge what is said in a respectful way and to carefully consider differences in opinions. Administrators should be encouraging teachers to model this behavior rather than punish one of the best teachers at MVHS.

  25. As a parent, I would love to come to a lecture by this teacher! I think I could learn a lot from his experience and knowledge.

  26. I’m behind you, Mr. Navarro. You were always there for me and your students- one of the best teachers I had at MVHS. I am so sorry to hear that because you discussed parallels between current events and history, you have become a casualty of the mess this week. I hope it passes soon and we can all move on. Continue to teach our youth how to be outstanding citizens of the world.

    -Former student, Meredith c/o 2004

  27. According to our school website, the mission of our administration is to “create a collaborative learning environment in which students and staff respect the diversity of our society” and to teach students to “think critically, solve problems creatively, and participate ethically at MVHS and in our greater democratic society.”
    After the election, our principal instructed all MVHS teachers to be “neutral” in addressing the results. Many followed this mandate. Frank Navarro did not. In his classes, he asked students to complete activities which fulfill and exceed the expectations set out in the mission statement. He asked students to compare and contrast candidate’s stances, learn about their social views, and make connections to world history. And for this he was put on administrative leave.
    Not only does this fail the institution of our school, but it shortchanges students. In order to maintain the quality of our education, teachers need the power to address the real world, both past and present, in the classroom. In order to “respect the diversity of our society”, we need to be able to protect the individuals in our school.
    Standing by and saying nothing not only directly disrespects both that diversity and fails to grow our student’s ability to “participate ethically … in our greater democratic society”, but is an active threat to the minorities of our student body, which is more than three quarters either female, of a race other than white, LGBTQ+, or multiple of these, all of which have a history of systemic oppression and are the victims of hateful rhetoric. When those with power fail to take a positive stand, oppression can only be perpetuated.
    If teachers are not given the freedom to follow the very mission statement of our school and protect our students, that is a failure for which we can look directly to our administration.

  28. Adminsistration team of MVHS, please deny Mr. Navarro’s paid leave. He is a wonderful teacher and I enjoy his appreciation for art, especially being his student. I, myself, including MVHS, does not want to lose such a wonderful teacher from this school at all. Please deny this paid leave as soon as you can.

  29. As someone who attended Mt. View/Los Altos High school in the 60s when it was called Awalt I can tell you that those of us against the Viet Nam war were not allowed to demonstrate or speak against it. The community is very conservative and often supports the racist agenda of the ruling class. It does not surprise me that some parents did not like Trump being compared to Hitler. There are some similarities as well as many differences. Hitler could speak in complete sentences unlike Trump.

    I got out of Los Altos as soon as I could.

  30. Constance Nelson on

    I much prefer Mr. Navarro’s method than that 2nd grade teacher who told my grandson he HAD to respect Trump anyway, even if he didn’t like him because Trump was elected President.

  31. Mark Wisniewski on

    As a form high school journalism/English teacher, let me firt of all congratulate you on your publication and website.

    I understand the need for teachers to remain neutral with their students about hot-button topics… politics, religion, abortion. However, I see nothing wrong with guiding students in discovering parallels between historical figures and current ones. That’s called analysis and application, and engages two of the higher thinking levels. I get what Navarro was alluding to; pre-hitler Germany was suffering from crushing economic times for the middle class and hence, intense nationalistic feelings. Where do we see that today? If we cannot guide our students to see warning signs from the past, who do we blame should something go horribly wrong?

  32. As an Awalt grad, I had the great fortune to be a reader of the Oracle and be a student of Frank Navarro. I am pleased to see that both are still excellent at their jobs.

  33. Congratulations to the Oracle for such an amazing work; I wish that mainstream media would be as objective and informative as you’ve been here; please don’t change that!
    I’d need more time than I have to express my complete opinion for this case; but in a few words:
    I think that the teacher made a mistake; even if he was neutral it seems that didn’t ‘sound’ neutral. This said; I can imagine how hard is to be neutral and at the same time try to make children learn to think by themselves, so this teacher has my respect for trying that.

  34. Hi Karen,

    Since this event has attracted so much international attention, please persist in uncovering the full truth of what happened.

    It is possible that Sup. Harding is being dishonest. It is possible that Mr. Navarro was being dishonest. Or the truth could be even more interesting.

    I think this story really matters.

  35. My daughter is a student of Mr. Navarro. I believe she is lucky to have a teacher who has the courage to teach history in the context of our living reality. It was wrong to put him on leave. Please return him to the classroom where our students can continue to learn and become informed citizens. Had the voters of this election been taught by teachers like Mr. Navarro, their opinions would have been based on educated facts rather than emotional ignorance, and we may have had a different outcome.

  36. In some places, a history teacher with so much knowledge and experience is revered.
    “In my classrooms, I refuse to remain silent in the face of racism, its subtle and systemic structure. I refuse to remain silent in the face of patriarchal and sexist hegemony and the denigration of women’s bodies,” Emory University professor George Yancy writes in The New York Times Opinion Section.

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