Christy Lozano, who’s running for Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools, is disputing a letter that appeared on the Noozhawk website and discussed her work history.
She is also raising the question of whether her personal information was leaked illegally.
Her employer, the Santa Barbara Unified School District, told the News-Press that revealing personnel information isn’t allowed under district policy.
The letter about Ms. Lozano, written by Bonnie Beedles, appeared Friday on Noozhawk and led to Ms. Lozano’s statement.
“My opponents have been leaking fragmented items of information regarding my current employment status at Dos Pueblos High School in an attempt to distort public perceptions,” said Ms. Lozano, a teacher who is on voluntary leave from the Goleta school. “I believe that the best response is to set the truth free, for it will defend itself.
“On May 27, 2022, Bonnie Beedles penned a letter to the editor in Noozhawk leaking dates and pay status of my voluntary leave from my personal employment files. Beedles is the wife of SBUSD Assistant Superintendent Frann Wageneck,” Ms. Lozano told the News-Press in a statement. “Beedles and Wageneck are co-business owners of Flux Coaching & Consulting.
“There is no way Ms. Beedles would know this information unless she was provided it from someone inside the district with access to my files. Even more disturbing is that she distorted my current status by leaking selected snippets of information from my files,” Ms. Lozano said. “Such information, like a student’s grades or medical records, is protected by law even for those, like myself, who are seeking public office.
“Leaking such information demonstrates, at a minimum, a lack of professionalism and administrative controls. This leak also demonstrates the lengths that unethical insiders are willing to go to maintain the failed status quo,” Ms. Lozano said.
The News-Press reached out to Ms. Beedles Wednesday but did not hear back by press time.
The News-Press also asked the Santa Barbara Unified School District about any leaks of personnel information.
“It is the policy of the Santa Barbara Unified School District that we do not reveal personnel information about any employees,” spokesman Nick Masuda told the News-Press.
In her statement, Ms. Lozano said she never hid the fact that she’s on voluntary leave from Dos Pueblos High School.
“It’s no secret the current administrators of SBUSD have created a hostile work environment for me, as well as many other teachers and staff,” Ms. Lozano said. “I have been a high-profile and consistent critic of administration policies, especially in regards to transparency, student outcomes and safety.
“One of the issues, which precipitated my current voluntary leave, was my public advocacy for the SROs (safety resource officers) to remain on campus. Rather than address critical safety concerns, the administration retaliated by undermining my personal safety and refused to authorize a transfer to another school,” Ms. Lozano said.
“For those familiar with the current SBUSD teacher protests, demand letters, and critical survey of the superintendent by hundreds of teachers, as well as the mass resignation of administrators at the SBUSD offices, would understand why I requested this voluntary leave. Those who speak out in our schools are not safe.
“Campaigning for the position of county superintendent of schools has been one of the greatest pursuits of my life,” Ms. Lozano said. “I am fighting for parents, taxpayers, and students, all of whom have been ill-served by our county schools. More than half of the students in our county are not proficient in English, and nearly two-thirds are not proficient in math. Taxpayers are footing a $1.1 billion a year bill for these dreadful results. I am also fighting for the parents’ right to know what is being taught to their children in our schools.”
Later in her statement, Ms. Lozano went on to say, “And finally, win or lose on June 7, I will be exploring whether Bonnie Beedles and her enablers illegally leaked confidential information regarding my employment. If they did, they will be held accountable.”