Sunday, June 9, 2013

Who is Stephen Winkler? If you have kids in the SUSD, you need to know!

Winkler's tweeted insult caught the attention of not just teachers, but of parents and others in the district.  As a concerned parent with a child in the Saugus district, I set out to find out who this guy is. I don't have all the answers I want or need, but I have seen enough to not want this person having access to my children or animals, and I certainly don't want him in a position to influence my kids' education.

Stephen Winkler, member of the SUSD school board, claims to be a teacher. Not being a public educator myself, I decided to look him up with the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing (and you can too) and found he holds a 30 day Substitute teacher certificate valid until 11/1/13. However, he does not hold any other currently valid teaching certifications.

And, IF he's the same Stephen Winkler who posts on social media sites using the same email address provided for the school board candidate paperwork, then he is not shy about expressing his personal likes and dislikes on social media sites on which we hit a payload of rather upsetting information.

We found a YouTube account attached to his email address, dating back to 2007, where he appears  to be a fan of riding animals, torturing and killing dogs, antisemitic channels, videos, and more. We were shocked to find comments such as "HEIL HITLER!" (see below).

This is OUTRAGEOUS behavior for anyone.  But to think this might be someone on the school board of a district of elementary schools - it is nauseating. WE MUST NOT ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE. If this is his YouTube account, then STEPHEN WINKLER MUST RESIGN FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD IMMEDIATELY. Even if it was not him doing these things online, it is impossible for me to entrust him with my children's education based on the way he has treated teachers and others.

Everything we reference here is publicly visible online activity.

OK, I know what you are thinking. How do we know the online footprint we're revealing is from the same Stephen Winkler on the school board? We don't. And we are not saying that it is the same person. However, this YouTube account is affiliated with the same email address presumed board member Stephen Winkler uses for his Twitter account, Facebook account, and public candidate records. We understand that the creation of a YouTube and Google account requires email verification.  We also found the same types of topics across his accounts, with local connections. For example, the owner of this YouTube account "favorited" a video about a local charter school and subscribes to another local school board official of another district and comments on that YouTube channel.  On all these accounts this person follows a young girl singer by the name of Connie Talbot and her friends with whom he communicates via his  Twitter account.

Believe me, we sincerely hope this is not the same Stephen Winkler that was elected to the school board, and who has access to our children in that and other roles (tutor, substitute teacher, etc.).  But, if the YouTube activity found and shared here is not his, we still feel strongly that this school board member does not belong on the board based on his twitter and facebook account and activity as well as what we have heard about this board member's behavior that has gotten him banned from being on school campus. Our children, our teachers, our schools, our community - they all deserve better.

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