Friday, June 28, 2013

It's a Wrap

On June 18th, Mr.Winkler's seat on the SUSD Board of Trustees was vacated based on the outcome of an ongoing domicile/residence investigation.

When we work together, parents, teachers, administrators, media, everyone, toward a common goal and put our (political) differences aside there is nothing we can't accomplish. We are really proud of our community for taking a stand for our children and our community. 

There were many lessons to be learned here. Here are a few that come to mind:

Candidates need to be vetted better to uncover possible risks and concerns before we get someone onto the ballot and before we vote (or don't vote) resulting in an outcome. Don't rely on a group's or individuals' endorsement of a candidate as a sign that the candidate is truly fit for office. Ask questions - ask the candidate and ask the endorsing groups what they know and don't know about the candidate. The school board is just as important, if not more so, as state and national elections.

VOTE! Voters need to do their homework and show up and vote. Mr.Winkler won his seat with a very low number of votes (2,518). It would have taken four times as many petition signatures from registered voters in the district to get a recall action on the ballot if his seat had not been vacated due to violation of code 1770 (residency). An ounce of prevention, folks!

Parents need to be engaged and involved, attending board meetings in their kids' school district, and being aware of key players, concerns, etc. Many are. But many more are not. Let's tip the scales and commit to ensuring that more of us are active and involved. Not everyone can do everything so commit to doing at least one thing to increase your awareness of what's happening in the schools. It takes a village!

Teachers, administrators and board members need to seek out parents and media support when something troubling is happening. We've demonstrated that we can and will heed the call , bring resources to bear and press for resolution. While an investigation had begun months earlier, new key evidence (court docs) surfaced only recently due to a grass roots effort to bring these issues to the public eye. Our community is filled with resourceful, connected and concerned citizens who will go to the ends of the earth to protect and help our kids. Use us!

Even a single parent or small group of parents or teachers can make a huge difference for the children and the community. Don't ever think there's nothing that you can do to bring about positive change.

If you see other lessons from this, please share!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Key meeting of the SUSD Board of Trustees tonight

The Saugus Union School District Board of Trustees will meet tonight for a regularly scheduled meeting. However, the agenda has been amended with the following addendum for discussion and a vote:
Action to declare a vacancy on the Board pursuant to Government Code Section 1770 and Education Code Section 5090 (Judy Umeck)
The Governing Board will discuss and consider and may take action to declare vacant the seat of Board Member Stephen S. Winkler based on information indicating that Mr. Winkler may not reside in the Saugus Union School District.
Furious Parents will join other members of the community at the meeting, to hear the conclusion and outcome of the ongoing domicile investigation. In the event that Mr.Winkler's seat on the board is not vacated at tonight's meeting, we will proceed with ongoing organization efforts to recall him from office. Such an effort will be a significant undertaking but we are prepared and willing to do it, if necessary.

A strong community presence at tonight's meeting will help send a clear  message to the Board that we will not stand for Mr.Winkler's inappropriate behavior and ongoing denials of what the mountain of evidence clearly shows. And, if the Board does not vacate his seat tonight, our presence at the meeting represents an opportunity for us to connect in person to continue to exchanged information in support of the recall effort.

Please be there. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 7:30pm (public portion)
SUSD Office
24930 Avenue Stanford
Santa Clarita, CA

Links to the latest news pieces on this matter: "June 17, 2013 - Daily Brief - SCVTalk"
SCVNews: "School Board Expected to Oust Winkler Tuesday"
The Signal: "Winkler residency expected to be addressed Tuesday night"
The Signal: "Winkler residency remains a mystery to Saugus district"

Friday, June 14, 2013

Standing room only at the SUSD Board Meeting!

The Saugus Union School District Board of Trustees faced a packed room, standing room only, of furious parents, teachers, staff, and residents prepared to speak out against board member Stephen Winkler's disturbing conduct and to demand his resignation.

Despite not having a single supporter speak favorably about him in the room, Winkler remained defiant and refused to resign, claiming that Jehovah told him to keep fighting.  As onlookers watched and listened to Mr.Winkler crack jokes about how he thought tonight's meeting would be "fun", one can't help but think that he was misinterpreting the message he received from above.

Mr.Winkler has laid claim to several different faith systems.  Tonight he claimed to be a "devout Jew" who attends weekly Torah study and thus couldn't possibly be a Nazi. Moments later he admitted to being a follower of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministry and, his many online accounts and outlets demonstrate periods of a Christian faith as well. And, a report has surfaced that just last year Mr.Winkler may have been baptized into the LDS church as a Mormon.

Mr. Winkler's religion hopping activity is worth noting as it's just one example of many where he has demonstrated a very confused sense of self and purpose.  A former pro-choice advocate, recently turned staunch pro-lifer (dedicating his entire campaign platform to this issue), his views and positions often shift within a single conversation. He's an immigrant who feels illegal immigration should be punishable by execution (statement he made on camera after the board meeting). He is a man with an hobby of watching children ride on dogs and other animals but who hates dogs and wants to see them tortured and killed.  He claims to have been a life-long Democrat but when he ran for his seat on the board he became a devoted Republican. His car is plastered with bumper stickers that reveal confusion of his own views, displaying stickers for Hilary Clinton, John McCain, Barrack Obama, Buck McKeon, and "Harvest" (a Christian organization - curious for a Jewish man to promote that, don't you think?).  A "shape shifter" is how many refer to him.

Unfortunately, there's little the Board can do about Mr.Winkler's misconduct. But they did censure him, putting on record that the rest of the Board disapproves of his behavior.  However, Board members are required, by law, to maintain residence within the district. A domicile investigation is underway and may be helped by the court documents which surfaced yesterday, in which Mr.Winkler filed a request for a protective order from someone he referred to as his "roommate" in both August 2012 and January 2013 and gave a Sylmar address (outside of the district). Mr.Winkler evaded the direction question about this at the meeting but finally admitted signing those court documents.

The Board will meet again on Tuesday, June 18th, at 6:30pm 7:30pm to announce the findings of the domicile investigation. Furious Parents will be there and we urge you all to join us. That meeting will occur at the SUSD District Office at 24930 Avenue Stanford, Santa Clarita, CA.

If Mr.Winkler is not vacated from his seat on the Board following the conclusion of the domicile investigation, he will be recalled. We are already organizing and consulting appropriate experts to initiate the recall process and we will win. As one speaker said at the meeting last night "Hell hath no fury like a Santa Claritan scorned." 

You can view video of the entire Board meeting last night HERE.

THANK YOU to all who attended the meeting and submitted written comments to the Board. Our unity, as a community, as parents, as teachers, and residents of the Santa Clarita Valley, to protect our children from Stephen Winkler and others like him, is paramount. AND, a very special THANK YOU to Mike Devlin, blogger for for his tireless effort and dedication, and talent for investigative reporting that helped bring this important situation to the attention of our community. We owe you a debt of gratitude.

News reports about the meeting: Blog (Conducted the investigative report and broke the story)
The Signal

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Well, well, well! Will it be over on a technicality?

This afternoon, just hours away from the special meeting of the Saugus Union School District Board of Trustees, news broke that Mr.Winkler spent a significant portion of his term in violation of the residency code required of him in his role as Trustee.

You can read it HERE.

This matter is not yet resolved but we are hopeful that we are closer than ever.  Will this latest development mean it's over, or will we press on toward recall?

Click here to read CA Government Code Section 1770.

Meantime, parents, teachers, staff, and residents of SUSD will attend the meeting tonight to have their say.

Meeting time and location:

6:30 PM
SUSD Office
24930 Avenue Stanford
Santa Clarita, CA

See you there!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stephen Winkler admits to assaulting local resident

Mr. Winkler is denying the allegations pertaining to his online activity. He also told a local reporter at The Signal that he would not be making any further comments on any news articles or social media sites; you can read that report here.  But just moments after that article was published, on Monday night (June 10th), Winkler was online, using the Facebook account he has admitted to owning, and he was commenting on threads about this situation. In his comments, he offered up information that he attacked someone at a local library and was removed by the authorities.  You can see his comments on it below.

Mr. Winkler's comments below appeared on a Facebook thread at approximately 8:30pm PT on Monday, June 10, 2013. One commenter's identity and comment has been hidden since we have not obtained permission to reveal it.

Curious what is in that link provided by Mike Devlin in that thread above?
Have a look for herself HERE.

We're confident you will see that clearly there is a STRONG resemblance between Mr.Winkler's comments on Facebook last night and the comments by "Stephen Winkler" on the YouTub page linked above.  What say you?

REMINDER: SAUGUS UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT SPECIAL MEETING to address the allegations about Mr.Winkler's online behavior will be held this Thursday, June 13th at 6:30pm at the district office: 24930 Avenue Stanford, Santa Clarita, CA. Arrive early, and complete required form to make a comment of up to three minutes.  NOTE: If you can't be there in person, please call the district office at 661-294-5300 for instructions for submitting a written statement.  EITHER WAY, PLEASE ACT. We must be united in demanding Mr.Winkler's immediate resignation. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Special Meeting Called by SUSD Board of Trustees: Thursday, June 13th 6:30pm

Responding to the allegations about Stephen Winkler's conduct, the SUSD Board called a special meeting this week to address the situation.  If you live in the district we urge you to attend this meeting.  Public comment will be permitted. Arrive early to complete paperwork and be granted three minutes to speak. Please pass it on.

Meeting Details:

Thursday (JUNE 13) 6:30PM - arrive early for seating and to request time to speak

SUSD District Office, 24930 Avenue Stanford, Santa Clarita, CA. Tel: (661) 294-5300

Here is a news report about the special meeting.

Sunday, June 9, 2013 Publishes Excellent Piece on Stephen Winkler's Online Behavior

You can and should read it, here. Mike Devlin did an excellent job laying out the story and evidence uncovered in this expose investigation.

After you read it, put the next SUSD school board meeting on your calendar and don't miss it. SHOW UP please, for our kids' sake, and demand action.

When and where, you ask?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 7:30 PM at the Education Center at the Saugus Union School District Office
24930 Avenue Stanford
Santa Clarita, CA 91355

The meeting will probably be very well attended so I suggest you GET THERE EARLY. Maybe even print out the article and your favorite screenshots for easy reference.

If you can't attend the meeting, may we suggest you contact the district and express your views on this matter?  Some contacts for your convenience:

SUSD Board President: President, Judy Egan Umeck - email her at

SUSD Superintendent and Secretary to the Board,  Joan M. Lucid - email her at

Are you a teacher or parent who is concerned about the impact this may have on the safety and security of your children, teacher, or others? You may also wish to contact Keith Karzin, Director of Safety & Risk Management. His email is