Why Christy Lozano Would Be a Terrible Superintendent of Schools

She Belittles Student Voices, Disregards Disagreements from Adults, and Misleads the Public

Over the past two months, I’ve gotten to know Christy Lozano from afar. From what I’ve seen, I’m concerned with Lozano’s tendency to belittle and dismiss student voices, disregard disagreements from adults, and mislead the public. This is particularly relevant now that she’s running to be the Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools.

For context, I’m a 16-year-old sophomore at Dos Pueblos High School. For two months, I have been attending Santa Barbara Unified School Board Meetings with members of a club I founded in November, DPLeft (hold your judgments). We had heard that there was a significant far right presence at the board meetings, so we decided to try and balance things with our perspectives.

It was at these meetings that we saw Christy Lozano, a parent and teacher from the other side of the aisle. Politics aside, the behavior we’ve seen from her has made it clear that she is unfit to serve our county as Superintendent of Schools.

On February 8, after getting our comments in at one of these board meetings, we were followed immediately by Lozano. We would expect political disagreement, an expression of differing opinions, maybe a comment or two about us being “misguided.” But it happened a little differently

Finnegan Wright | Courtesy

“I think it’s great to teach kids to advocate. What I do have an issue with is scripting them,” Lozano said. She then mentioned a wish for more student voices on the other side, before continuing:

“They don’t even understand what they’re saying, sometimes.”

She explained later in the comment, “A good teacher helps them develop their own opinion. And then they speak from what’s in their own heart, not what people that are in charge of them want them to say.”

I have a few problems with this.

For starters, no one gave us scripts. Two club members wrote down their remarks before speaking so they could be clear, which were in contrast to my rather agitated comments, as well as the comments of another member. But why did Lozano jump to conclusions about someone writing scripts for us?

What was more problematic, and frankly quite gross, was her condescending dismissal of the slightest possibility that we were expressing our true thoughts. DPLeft doesn’t get its opinions from any sort of “higher up”; we forge them ourselves. Suggesting that we don’t is unfounded and quite disrespectful of student voices.

See, the issue with all of this is what it reveals. Instead of Christy Lozano seeing student disagreement as an opportunity to take in a different and valid viewpoint, she seems compelled to find some way to dismiss our arguments. In this case, that means making accusations about students being drone-like mouthpieces for invisible puppeteers. That’s ridiculous. And she doesn’t just do this to students.

In the previous meeting, held on January 25, Lozano engaged in almost identical behavior, this time directed towards the administrators in the school district. “[If] you guys actually cared for kids, you wouldn’t be following protocols given to you by whoever the big guys are paying you the big bucks,” she says.

We see again this reluctance to believe that differing opinions are authentic. While yes, the administrators are technically paid to do their jobs, Lozano avoids seeing genuine consideration behind these actions with which she disagrees. Instead, she again jumps to puppeteer strings.

All this shows me a person who would not serve the people of Santa Barbara County if she became Superintendent of Schools. When students disagree with her, she seems inclined to dismiss their criticisms and makes belittling presumptions. When adults disagree with her, she disregards their input all the same.

The Superintendent of Schools, a public servant, should hear voter and student voices, especially those with different viewpoints. For voters who care about their opinions and their children’s opinions, and for students who care about their own voices, this should be a huge red flag. A red banner, even.

On January 15, Christy Lozano published a video titled “Password-Protected Portal: Culturally Responsive Curriculum – What Parents Should Know.” In this video, she went over a website providing teachers with extra resources regarding race, LGBTQ+ people, and other related topics. She explained that the district was teaching children pre-K through twelfth grade politically biased and divisive content and hiding this “curriculum” from parents. Fox News picked up her video, and Lozano was invited to The Ingraham Angle to reiterate what she “exposed.”

Problem is, it’s not true. If you read the text on the website Lozano shows, it’s clear that these are simply optional resources provided to teachers by the district. And this has been confirmed, as can be seen in two Independent articles (“Santa Barbara Teacher Announces Bid for Superintendent of Schools” and Starshine Roshell’s column “Santa Barbara School Teacher’s Rant Is All Wrong”). On top of that, I have firsthand experience as a student in S.B. Unified. While I have seen these topics come up in classes like English 9 Ethnic Studies (what would you expect from a class that specifically emphasizes Ethnic Studies?), I haven’t seen anything from this “curriculum” in my math classes, science classes, electives, or sports.

Even if you disagree with something like the Ethnic Studies curriculum or agree with Lozano’s issues with the website, the fact still stands that these resources aren’t being forced on teachers or taught across the board from pre-K to twelfth grade. That is a verifiably false claim made by Lozano. And that’s an issue.

“There needs to be transparency; we should only have board members and superintendents that are willing to be transparent,” Lozano states in the video.

I agree. And that is precisely why Lozano’s behavior concerns me. It is not transparent to lie, knowingly or unknowingly, in this faux journalistic manner, about district practice. Yet, that is what Lozano did.

Christy Lozano spreading misinformation about the actions and intentions of schools and districts in Santa Barbara County is unacceptable. Voters and students in Santa Barbara County should not want a Superintendent of Schools who misrepresents district practice. And this is exactly what Lozano has done.

I consider myself a pretty political person (I’m the founder and president of the DPLeft club for crying out loud), so, of course, I have plenty of biases. We all do; there’s no reason to hide that, and I’m the first person to acknowledge that my biases may influence my judgment. In this case, though, none of my criticisms of Christy Lozano have been about our political disagreement. I know that there is plenty we’d disagree on, but that’s not the point.

The point is, for anyone, Lozano exhibits behaviors that make it clear she is an undesirable candidate for the Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools. Belittling and dismissing student voices, disregarding disagreement from adults, and misleading the public are all terrible behaviors for a candidate who wants this role. Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I sincerely hope you cast your vote against Christy Lozano.

Finnegan Wright is a sophomore at Dos Pueblos High School.


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