Nick Welsh’s March 30 Poodle column (“The Fight for Santa Barbara’s Superintendent of Schools Heats Up”) was a masterpiece of spin. In Nick’s world, when Democratic power brokers entrenched in the education bureaucracy for decades hire a top Sacramento law firm to prevent incumbent Susan Salcido’s having an opponent in the next election, that’s an “inflamed right” trying to take over Santa Barbara County schools.
Reading it with no other information one might think that challenger Christy Lozano somehow brought the lawsuit on herself. You also might wonder why Superintendent Salcido is so worried about a mere school teacher opposing her.
Here’s the reason: Lozano has brought to light something that should concern every parent of school-age children in the district. In a YouTube video, Lozano showed how a district website that only teachers — not parents — can access is full of curriculum guides about how to teach students the virtues of Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ pride, transgenderism, Critical Race Theory, and the rest of the woke agenda. How many parents want elementary school children spending classroom time on leftist political instruction? Not very many, I’ll bet.
That combined with the district’s abysmal performance on its real mission — educating children — should be a cause of concern to everyone. What if part of the reason half of our students can’t meet basic level state standards is that their teachers are spending time teaching leftist ideology? Of course, parents who want to instill woke beliefs in their children are free to do so at home, but the schools shouldn’t be doing this, any more than they should be instilling right-wing beliefs.
Christy Lozano wants to keep political activism out of the classroom, and instead give children the tools and the encouragement to lead fulfilling lives. She wants parents to know what their children are being taught. Put it that way, and I doubt even Nick could disagree.
Fortunately the desperate effort to keep Lozano off the ballot failed. Maybe it’s time, after 40 years of schools superintendents never being challenged, to give somebody new a chance.