Guest lecturer at Ventura School tells students Trump is “like Hitler”

By George Miller

According to a student’s parent, an Anacapa Middle School teacher (Laurie Curtis-Abbe, Gate-Language Arts and World Geography teacher), invited a graphologist (handwriting analyst) to lecture in her 8th grade classroom. Invitee Sheila Lowe lectured on her art, then showed handwriting samples of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, initially without identifying them, asking students what they thought the writers were like. She allegedly told the students that Clinton was stable but that Donald Trump is not the same person at home as in public, doesn’t follow the rules and has handwriting and probable behavioral characteristics like Adolph Hitler.

TrumpHitler2

A different montage of Hitler and Trump

 

Sheila Lowe’s web site:

LoweTrump

Donald Trump handwriting “analysis.” Source: Sheila Lowe website. We claim “fair use doctrine” for this excerpt.

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12-6-16 update: On 12-5-16 telecon, the Superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District denied that: likenesses of Hitler or Himmler were shown, that either was shown with Trump, that Trump was compared in any way with Hitler or Himmler.  But, the students reiterated their original assertions and added more, per a parent. Since VUSD seemed unclear on what was previously written, all of the classroom activities described are allegations by students. 

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A look at the site shows some obviously politically-biased “impressions” of various candidates. She has nothing but kind words in her opinion of Hillary Clinton’s writings, but for nearly all of the Republicans candidates, she sees serious flaws, supposedly strictly from their handwriting. She compared Trump’s signature to Hitler when she spoke in the classroom. But on her website, she compared Trump’s signature to that of Heinrich Himmler, one of Hitler’s most notorious Lieutenants. She also wrote there that the difference between his signature and writing indicates that he behaves differently at home than he does in public. Did we mention that she was also wearing a Hillary button?

According to her own web site, Lowe has qualified to testify in legal proceedings in cases of handwriting authentication, as well as personality assessment. 

Angry mother speaks out

One parent told us that her son was very interested in the election, followed it closely, stayed up all night watching the results, etc., and is a Trump supporter. He was angry about Ms. Lowe’s lecture, not only because he thought it was inappropriate for her to do such a thing, especially so close to the election, but that he believed it was unsupported and also incorrect, based on what he has observed himself. When we showed him Lowe’s analyses (which she calls “impressions”) of other politicians, it only strengthened his conviction.

We are told that he is mostly an “A” student, student president of his school and an accomplished athlete. When we met him, he appeared fairly self-possessed, well-spoken and stood his ground. His mother was like a lioness, fiercely protecting her cub. But it was he who brought this up and made it an issue, prompting her to assist.

Mother complains to school

The student’s mother agreed in spades. She started off by calling the office of the Superintendent of Schools, Michael Babb, to express her concern and learn how and why this happened. She says she was told to instead call the school principal, Barbara Boggio.

She says that Boggio told her that “these things happen.” Incredibly, Boggio also wanted to refer them to the school psychologist, who according to the school website, is Susan Powers. The mother did not believe that she or or her son needed the services of a psychologist, especially one working for a school that would do this. If anything, she opined, it is school officials who need a psychologist.

Via her own initiative and persistence, not Babb’s, she spoke later to his assistant, Marcia Macias, attempting to determine what district policies are for guest lecturers.

CitizensJournal.us calls school

I was easily able to reach school Principal Barbara Boggio, who seems very accessible and actually answered her own phone. We explained what we heard from the student and his mother. She initially said she hadn’t heard anything about the incident, at least until I mentioned that the mother told me that she had spoken with her, which seemed to refresh her memory. She did not indicate whether she had spoken to the teacher, but said what was described really wasn’t acceptable. She also denied ever offering to refer them to the school psychologist. When I conveyed this to the mother, she was adamant that it had in fact occurred.

Mrs. Boggio didn’t seem very happy about the bias described and especially the Hillary campaign button.

She and I discussed whether it was appropriate to have a very partisan, biased lecturer in. She was a bit defensive about it and professed to know that she was coming, but not much about who she was and her views, nor how the lecture fared. But we ended up agreeing that it was OK, as long as the teacher put it in perspective for the students and provided equal time for divergent views. When I spoke to the mother about that, she concurred.

I asked Ms. Boggio for a statement for publication by Wednesday. but have not received anything to date. She was very open to discussion and receptive to views.

At the recommendation of a knowledgeable friend and the student’s mother, I also called District Supt. Assistant Martha Macias, and was told that she is at a seminar until Monday. I asked if she could call back sooner, but had not heard from her by publication time. Meanwhile, Ms. Rosie Cortez and Ms. Cobos were able to answer some questions and steer me to the applicable policies linked at the bottom of this article.

If we hear back from any school district people on this, we will update this article accordingly.

Interviews

In multiple interviews, the student and his mother told me the above things. He mentioned that his teacher took the class on trips and had guest lecturers in periodically. They told me that the class had recently visited the Museum of Tolerance in LA, where they had learned about the Holocaust and the incredible evil of the “Third Reich” Führer, Adolph Hitler. So, the mother said, when the kids heard Lowe compare Trump  to Hitler, she felt that it unjustly made a profound negative impression on their pliable young minds, which may have been exactly what what was intended.

But, the student also mentioned other class lectures organized by Ms. Curtis-Abbe, featuring ex-smokers and drug addicts, on how they had kicked their habits and a visit by an ex-Dallas Cowboy player, who now writes scripts. Then there was also the aforementioned field trip to The Museum of Tolerance. He spoke very favorably of all of those events.

He also mentioned that they had discussed the presidential debates in class, where he noted no bias in his teacher’s handling of these.

So, was the Lowe lecture just an unfortunate slip-up, or a calculated ploy? Should instructors be held accountable/responsible for even-handed education?  May they bring in alternative opinions? If so, how should these best be balanced, properly framed and explained to students to put them in perspective? We direct you to the applicable school district polices at the end of this article.

We have heard about other cases where students were propagandized similarly. And then there is the constant media bombardment, with the so-called “MainStream” media overwhelmingly biased agaist Trump, while many radio and alternative media outlets attacked Clinton mercilessley. So, is it any wonder that area kids went marching around town yelling obscenities about our President-Elect, while some schools encouraged it, gave them time off, didn’t report it to the state school funding organization and even provided buses sometimes? Then again, some other schools might present Hillary Clinton as the devil incarnate- just not around here, though.

Conclusion

A schoolteacher was likely well-intentioned in inviting in a guest lecturer, which she had done before successfully. Whether she knew it or not in advance, as she should have, the guest lecturer was highly biased and seemingly unaware of good practices for guest lecturing. The teacher must have been aware of this and surely became so as the lecture unfolded. But she said nothing to help put it in perspective for the students. We don’t know if she was trained on district policy. It would seem like she should organize some sort of countebalancing instruction for this, The principal said she was aware of the scheduled guest lecture, but not of the nature, beliefs of the lecturer and the instructional contents and bias. School and District officials seem to be proactive when approached.

We have talked to several people who were disturbed about this affair, but when the problem was discussed, thought it might be OK to let such events roll, IF the teacher provides perspective and alternative views/instruction as well. After all, this is real world stuff which happens every day and it would be good for students to see these points, but also COUNTERpoints. May the best ideas win. If the teacher is unwilling or unable to do that, then there is a problem.

~~~

FYI:

Ventura Unified School District Policies: (User= Ventura, password=public …

   
spacer arrow 6144 BP Controversial Issues    
spacer arrow 6144 AR Controversial Issues  
6145.8 BP Assemblies And Special Events

 Relevant section of 6145.8 BP:

The principal shall ensure that speakers and community resources featured in school assemblies and special events are carefully selected and represent a balanced viewpoint. Prospective speakers shall agree to present material of educational relevance that is appropriate to the maturity of the audience, with no statements that are obscene, vulgar, or that incite violence.

(cf. 5145.2 – Freedom of Speech/Expression)

(cf. 6141.2 – Recognition of Religious Beliefs and Customs)

(cf. 6142.1 – Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Instruction)

(cf. 6144 – Controversial Issues)

http://www.venturausd.org/anacapa/Home.aspx

http://www.venturausd.org/anacapa/Staff.aspx

  Relevant Sections of BP 6144

Ventura USD |  BP  6144  Instruction

Controversial Issues   

arrow Previous bar Next arrow

The Governing Board believes that students should have opportunities to discuss controversial issues which have political, social or economic significance and which the students are mature enough to investigate and address. The study of a controversial issue should help students learn how to gather and organize pertinent facts, discriminate between fact and fiction, draw intelligent conclusions, and respect the opinions of others.

The Board expects teachers to exercise caution and discretion when deciding whether or not a particular issue is suitable for study or discussion in any particular class. Teachers should not spend class time on any topic which they feel is not suitable for the class or related to the established course of study.

The Board also expects teachers to ensure that all sides of a controversial issue are impartially presented, with adequate and appropriate factual information. Without promoting any partisan point of view, the teacher should help students separate fact from opinion and warn them against drawing conclusions from insufficient data. The teacher shall not suppress any student’s view on the issue as long as its expression is not malicious or abusive toward others.

Teachers sponsoring guest speakers shall either ask them not to use their position or influence on students to forward their own religious, political, economic or social views or shall take active steps to neutralize whatever bias has been presented.

(cf. 1312.1 – Complaints Concerning School Personnel)

(cf. 1312.2 – Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials)

(cf. 5145.2 – Freedom of Speech/Expression: Publications Code)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

51510 Prohibited study or supplemental materials

51511 Religious matters properly included in courses of study

51530 Prohibition and definition re advocating or teaching communism with intent to indoctrinate

51933 Sex education courses

60040 Portrayal of cultural and racial diversity

60044 Prohibited instructional materials

60045 Required to be accurate, objective, current, and suited to needs and comprehension at respective grade levels

Policy VENTURA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: October 22, 1992 Ventura, California

 

Anacapa Middle School, Ventura, CA

 (805) 289-7900    
 Barbara Boggio    Principal Administration  
 Susan Powers School Psychologist Special Services  1018

Ventura Unified School District Superintendent’s Office

255 W. Stanley Ave., Suite 100
Ventura, California 93001
805.641.5000 x1014

Michael Babb, Ed.D
Superintendent

https://www.schooldigger.com/go/CA/schools/4098006743/school.aspx

 

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Other handwriting opinions:

By Bart Baggett, HandwritingUniversity.com ….

By Aur

More opinions


George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard


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skaizun
skaizun
2 years ago

One only need examine Sociopath Darnold Rump’s signature, which proves that he’s schizoid: He uses a thick pen with larger-than-average letters to feed his egomania and shout out, “HERE I AM!”, while the nearly illegible scrawl clearly indicates that he wants to remain anonymous, because he knows what an embarrassment he is to himself and everyone else.

Mark Savalla
Mark Savalla
3 years ago

What I could find on Google indicates that Lowe has a MS in Psychology and some kind of accreditation in hand writing analysis. How this qualifies her to make such crazy analysis of personal traits of an individual is beyond me. Even with a few PHD’s in the subject it would be doubtful to me that she could tell what kind of person I am by a signature.

Mark Savalla
Mark Savalla
3 years ago

The most important point is to recognize that this person is promoting one of the Communist goals for changing a society. That is to take over the schools. The Nazis, Communists, Isis try to propagandize the youngest students into their philosophies. This lady is using the fog of Communism to influence school children. The county board, the principal and the teacher should be chastised and disciplined for such action.

John F. Higgins
John F. Higgins
3 years ago

Is the “art” of handwriting analysis truly accepted as “fact” in a court of law? The article describes how the “analyst” was introduced as being qualified to testify in court proceedings, implying some recognition of credibility. I’ve heard of cases in which an expert will compare handwriting samples, to find similarities between handwritten letters. However, do the courts really accept so-called “professionals” to speculate as to a subject’s psychological- and personality makeup based on the way they write the letter “J?” To me, it’s like employing a fortune-teller “reading” a crystal ball to help determine a subject’s guilt or innocence. If the courts don’t accept a handwriting analyst’s psychological speculations, then, as a parent, I’d compare her presentation to that of a fortune-teller – pseudo-science, a waste of time and resources, with no place in a classroom.

Doug Miller
Doug Miller
3 years ago

Teachers, like journalists have a grave responsibity to present facts, not opinions, and make it clear when someone is presenting a biased viewpoint on any subject. This incident rests firmly on the
teacher who allowed this presentation to go unchallenged as to the veracity of her findings….

Sheila Lowe
3 years ago

If this were a real piece of journalism you would have contacted me and asked what I actually said. Instead, you have misattributed comments based on hearsay. Posting a picture of Hitler is inflammatory and incorrect. I did not say the things you claim.

Steve
Steve
3 years ago

It’s a shame how our schools have become a “den of inequalities”
when every opinion is supposed to have fair say in an unbiased atmosphere, but is now so blatantly intolerant of opposing opinions. That in of itself is an example of subtle propaganda. Students are easy targets for this, because the majority lack the maturity or real world experience to see both sides of the argument, clearly. It’s easy to get them all excited and riled up into a mob mentality, though. That’s easily planned, encouraged and executed by many teachers and their organizations. Slowly indoctrinating generations of students who can’t or aren’t allowed to draw fair or realistic conclusions, if it goes against the beliefs of those who teach or orchestrate the educational setting is exactly what the liberal left hypocritically screams against. So sad.

Cathy Carlson
Cathy Carlson
3 years ago

The mother needs to file a Uniform Complaint. This does not need to be on the “form” found on district websites. Simply send an email, with Uniform Complaint in the subject. Then in the first line of the body, write “Please consider this email as a formal Uniform Complaint, a legal document.” The district must offer you an opportunity to meet in person with the Compliance Officer. It can be with a lawyer, or not. Then the Compliance Officer must do an investigation, and send a written answer to you within 45 days. It does NO GOOD to complain to the teacher, the principal or the board. First, you MUST file a Uniform Complaint. Then you can turn in your findings to the Grand Jury. You also have the right to appeal to the State Board of Education in Sacramento, but that takes years. Believe me, just filing the Uniform Complaint puts great pressure on the district. Just filing it is reported to the Board. Then you can file a class action lawsuit after the results are mailed to you, whatever the outcome of the Compliance Officer’s investigation. Don’t hesitate. There is only a 6 month window after the event to file a Uniform Complaint. Contact me via George Miller, if you want help on this.

Shaun D. Siple
Shaun D. Siple
3 years ago

As a parent I teach my children to be self thinkers and not to believe everything they here, even if it comes from teachers. I give them my own type of homework to research things they find not to be accurate. Only after doing due dilagence can they come to their own conclusion.
Inevedibly there will be people like the guest speaker in our lives. It’s our jobs as parents not to let our children just absorb everything they hear, but to challenge respectfully different opinions.
I enjoyed this artical keep up the good fight.
Thanks

Fran Austin
Fran Austin
3 years ago

As a teacher myself, a parent , and grandparent, I am appalled by such political, immoral indoctrination of our students. It is actually abuse and mental, emotional torture to brainwash them in such an insane way.
I’ve taught in 3 CA school districts and in PA, DC, NY. Children are not ‘educated’ in academics, but rather made prey for predators. The teachers, themselves, can barely read, write, and spell. One first grade teacher spelled the word “no”, as in OH, NO!
“know”. Our children are beyond what they used to call ‘at risk” in the public schools today. At least, homeschooling would provide a modicum of safety for our beleaguered children.

David Pu'u
3 years ago

In reading this I was reminded of a guest lecturer when I was in high school. Psych class. The instructor brought in a UCSB professor to expose the class to homosexuality. About 15 minutes into the talk I recognized that the lecturer really was there in an agenda to proselytize students. I stood up, told the lecturer I was not buying it, stated that I was not in school to listen to this guy’s delusions and I walked out. About 1/3 of the class walked out after me.

A couple months later we saw that UCSB Professor masturbating at our local beach as a few of us were changing out of our wetsuits.

On the occasion when I do speak at schools these days I have found that teachers are generally very corralled so to speak, with regard to what they can allow lecturers to discuss.

So I found this particular instance somewhat unusual, where someone with an agenda or possible mental instability, was allowed to interact with students, and when a student complained, that the Admin wanted to pretty obviously cover up what had been done, and in fact sort of threatened the student and family.

It sounds like a well intentioned lecture that just went a little sideways. The lecturer may not have known better. The Admin surely should have in the management of the situation. My guess is that it will all be better the next time.

Blake Raker
Blake Raker
3 years ago

Opinion, speculation, misconstrued facts, misuse of a “para normal” science and a heavily politicized dose of Leftist Hatred is all I see in this hit piece. To brainwash young minds with this garbage is the essence of Hitler’s and Himmler’s tactics for Nazi Germany. I am disgusted and appalled and the “guest lecturer” must be exposed and the school reprimanded for his hate speech.

William "Bill" Hicks
William "Bill" Hicks
3 years ago

The Mother of the Victim, and that’s what the student is, needs to put this on the backs of the Board Members to deal with. It’s obvious that this is unacceptable. How would this had turned out if Clinton were perceived as Hitler? Every left leaning politician would have gone into fits.

Mom needs to talk to other parents from her Sons class that will validate what was said. Then show up at the next Board Meeting, in high numbers, ready for Bear. If necessary, she may need to seek legal council if this teacher is not disciplined severely.

Bill clinton
3 years ago

I don’t think it was that bad….