Education

Holocaust Scholar Suspended from Teaching Job for Comparing Trump to Hitler

“Everything I talk about is factually based. They can go and check it out."

Photo Credit: Change.org

Glenn BeckLouis C.K.Meg Whitman and Cher were all adamantly anti-Trump this election and quickly became some of the most notable to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

But since Trump was elected, Mountain View High School history teacher Frank Navarro was placed on administrative leave for drawing the same parallels in the classroom. The California high school history teacher, also a Holocaust scholar, was asked to leave the school early, two days after election day. Apparently, one angry parent had complained about his lessons and notified the school.

“This feels like we’re trying to squash free speech,” Navarro told the Mercury News. “Everything I talk about is factually based. They can go and check it out. It’s not propaganda or bias if it’s based on hard facts.”

Navarro's lessons include obvious similarities that even Trump supporters would have a hard time disputing. Did the president-elect, on his rise to power, not promise to deport foreigners to make his country “great again"? Well, that's just what Hitler did too.

The school did not permit Navarro to read the parents' emails. But as of Monday, November 14, a Change.org petition to allow Navarro to return to the school, where he has taught for four decades, has received nearly 30,000 signatures.

"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,” Navarro said. 

The petition also asks for an apology from Mountain View High School “for attempting to intimidate a respected educator. We will not stand for censorship and respectability politics.”

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

Navarro will be officially suspended until November 16.

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Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.