Tag: autism awareness

Tonight’s Board Meeting: More Campaigning on our Dime

TVUSD Special Education Director Kim Velez
TVUSD Special Education Director Kim Velez

TVUSD Special Education Director Kim Velez

We remember the last time a TVUSD administrator tried to present an overview of the California Department of Education (CDE) Verification Review of TVUSD’s Special Education department. Last fall, during election season, former board member Richard Shafer had the following to say:

(T)he California Department of Education did a verification review and we got an oral report back. We’re waiting for the final report in writing, but their oral comments to our staff, they praised our district for outstanding services to students, praised our teachers for being highly familiar with students, their needs and what was outlined in their IEPs, praised our general education teachers for being knowledgeable of students’ IEPs and services, praised our district for having exceptional child find procedures in place to identify students with special needs. The CDE found our files to be highly compliant with meetings being held on time, student being invited if appropriate and goals in all areas of need. The CDE stated they were exceptionally pleased with the level of service, compliance and commitment to our staff, and office to provide appropriate levels of service to students. We’re still waiting for the written report on that.

My job is to, my biggest thing that I do is to hire the superintendent, and we’ve got a good superintendent.

Video here.

Shafer’s overview was glass-half-full, to say the least, as the written report was much less charitable, specifically outlining financial improprieties and altering of documents for starters.… Read more

Shame On You Tim Ritter

Timothy Ritter and his supporters

Tim Ritter must go. Immediately.

Ritter’s term as superintendent has been memorable only for multiple public scandals, financial improprieties, public investigation by the state of California, hypocrisy, and open hostility toward those who dare criticize him. He is an enormous liability to the Temecula Valley Unified School District.

Six months ago, the school board election was more than a message. It was a demand. Remarkably, board members who were elected two decades earlier were forcibly removed by the people to whom they reported; the people whose taxes paid their wages and benefits. As the school year is coming to an end, the board must take a look at what a 2015-16 school year will look like should Ritter remain in the corner office, and there are simply no good scenarios.

Timothy Ritter and his supporters

Under Superintendent Timothy Ritter, TVUSD’s school board meetings have turned into a bizarre mash-up of the Jerry Springer Show and the Mickey Mouse Club.

The current situation is not tenable, and Ritter is sadly reduced to coaxing loyalists from Great Oak High School, where he is the former principal, to act as his cheering section at school board meetings. It’s also worth noting that Great Oak High School is the only TVUSD high school that was declared off-limits from the now-discredited sting, Operation Glass House, which Ritter personally authorized. Because of Tim Ritter’s inability to face criticism from the public, he has pathetically turned the school board meetings into a bizarre mash-up of the Jerry Springer Show and the Mickey Mouse Club.… Read more

RITTERGATE

God Save the Queen

One word, Rittergate.

According to (Craig) Johns, the district became in breech of its own policies by hiring Lindsey Jean Ritter, daughter of TVUSD Superintendent Timothy Ritter, during a board meeting held on October 1, 2013.

[…]

Johns went on to say that through the investigation the group discovered Lindsey Ritter has convictions including a “plea of guilty, nolo contendere (no contest) and/or a finding of guilty by a judge or a jury.”

“Court records confirm that Lindsey Ritter was charged with penal code 487 1-3,” Johns said. “Pertaining to one of two felonies with which she was charged which is grand theft. On January 17, 2012 Miss Ritter was sentenced without going to trial for … felony reduced to a misdemeanor. Sentencing included the repayment of $18,676 worth of restitution to the San Diego court system and probation. We believe this condition was overlooked because of Mr. Ritter’s influence over this board, and more specifically, Board President Allen Pulsipher.”

One more word, hypocrite.

God Save the Queen

Jodi McClay

On Friday, in what can only be described as an act of astonishingly bad judgement, TVUSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Support Services Jodi McClay attempted to defend Rittergate via an emailed statement to the Press Enterprise newspaper.

In McClay’s statement, she mentioned that “drug crimes” would preclude a person from employment at TVUSD. This would seem to disqualify the 22 former TVUSD students who were arrested in the now-discredited and ironically named sting, Operation Glass HouseWe take McClay’s implication very personally.… Read more

State Finds District that Entrapped Our Son Misappropriated Special Needs Kids’ Money

Lori_Ordway_Peck

TVUSD punished again for financial improprieties

A year-long investigation by the California Department of Education (CDE) into the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s (TVUSD) special education department found a multitude of violations – click here to read the full CDE report (323 pages) –  including the following examples of improper use of funds designated for TVUSD’s special education students:

  • 40 school district staff members, who were not assigned to teach Special Education students, received a portion of their salaries from special education funds during the 2013-2014 school year.
  • A Temecula charter school to which TVUSD was required to provide Special Education funds received only 54.3% of the funds during the 2013-2014 school year.

In total, the CDE issued 226 corrective actions and has given TVUSD a deadline of April 15, 2015 to provide evidence that all corrective actions have been completed, including repayment of the misappropriated funds.… Read more

State Investigation Reveals 92% of Temecula’s Special Education Students Have No Future

Meltdown in Temecula as State Investigation Finds Massive Non-Compliance in TVUSD Special Education

Temecula, CA is home to the most famous special education department in the United States. However, it’s a distinction that Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) brass would likely not want, because it was earned after TVUSD allowed undercover cops onto their campuses, resulting in the entrapment of nine special education students, who were handcuffed in front of their classmates and hauled off to jail.

And now, TVUSD’s reputation is about to get even worse.

We are the first to report that last week, TVUSD superintendent Timothy Ritter received the results of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) year-long investigation into TVUSD’s special education department. The State’s investigation of TVUSD is something we had previously reported.… Read more

Snodgrass Public Statement on the End of School Drugs Stings in Riverside County

The Riverside Press Enterprise recently asked us to comment for an article they were preparing, and is out now, Schools get reprieve from undercover drug busts. We provided the following written statement:

It is fantastic news that there have been no schools in the Southern California region that participated in undercover school drug stings. We find these practices to be extremely abusive and pointless as they ultimately destroy the lives of so many students, do not make them any safer, and violate their civil rights. Hopefully, these shameful acts will be banned in every school district. We expect our schools to protect our children and not teach them how to buy drugs.

Read more

Thank You Daily Kos

To the good people at Daily Kos, you have been  very kind to our family and we appreciate this front page endorsement.

dsnodgrass first wrote about his autistic son being entrapped by undercover cops planted in his son’s high school on Feb. 1, 2013. Doug wrote 30 diaries over the next two years keeping us updated as the story was picked up by Rolling Stone and made the subject of a documentary. Doug and his wife Catherine are heroes for taking the system on head first and being instrumental in the banning of undercover drug stings in schools.

[…]

The triumphant smiles of Doug, Jesse & Catherine Snodgrass at Jesse's high school graduation

The triumphant smiles of Doug, Jesse & Catherine Snodgrass at Jesse’s high school graduation

As you can see in the photo above, Jesse graduated from his high school even after being set up, arrested and incarcerated to be used as financial fodder for the Temecula Juvenile Detention business. The photo celebrates a strong family that triumphed and shut down a money-making operation that required special needs students to be thrown under the bus. Doug and his family, with the help of our amazing community, steeled themselves to stop this. Many families have been deeply hurt by these policies, but Doug and Catherine halted that. Heroes.

Read more

Superintendent Ritter Tries to Shut Us Up and Disgraced Ex-Board Members Flip Off Parents On Way Out

As we recently reported, the voters of Temecula replaced all three incumbent school board members with the candidates we endorsed.

(Pictured left to right)  Bob Brown, Vince O'Neal, Kristi Rutz-Robbins, Allen Pulsipher, Richard Shafer, (center) Tim Ritter (yup, crown was photoshopped)

(Pictured left to right) Bob Brown,
Vince O’Neal, Kristi Rutz-Robbins,
Allen Pulsipher, Richard Shafer, (center) Tim Ritter (yup, crown was Photoshopped)

On November 18, two weeks after election night, the school board held its final meeting with the three lame duck members. A piece of business they unanimously approved was a (roughly) one million dollar contract extension for Superintendent Timothy Ritter, even though nearly two years remained on the current contract, along with contract extensions for his two assistant superintendents, Jodi McClay and Lori Ordway-Peck, (who has been accused of misrepresenting budget projections by the Temecula Valley Educators Association). The combined compensation packages that were approved total nearly two and a half million dollars, paid by the same citizens who voted the board members out of office.

This appears to be a curious overreach. The voting public demanded that each board member whose terms were expiring stop working with the children in Temecula’s public schools, including two board members who first came to their positions two decades ago. Yet they, along with board members Kristi Rutz-Robbins and Allen Pulsipher (who will have their chance to hear from the voters in 2016) ignored the clear message that the voters expected major change, starting at the top. Instead, they decided to spend millions of our tax dollars to reward poor performance and bad behavior, flipping off the voters.… Read more

A Major Civil Rights Victory Just Occurred in Temecula

The Riverside County Registrar of Voters has certified the ballots for the 2014 Temecula School Board election, and the results are now official. Huge congratulations are in order for our newest board members, Julie Farnbach, Kevin S. Hill and Sandy Hinkson. These are the three candidates we publicly endorsed and they come to the five member board as an immediate majority. History will show that this election was an important moment in a burgeoning civil rights movement. Children are often the forgotten victims of civil rights violations, and we maintain that every undercover drug sting in schools is a violation of children’s civil rights.

The outcome of this election is a direct result of Operation Glass House, the abusive debacle in which undercover officers from the Riverside County Sheriffs Department entrapped twenty two of Temecula’s children in a fabricated drug sting, nine who were Special Education students, including our autistic son, Jesse Snodgrass. This is precisely the result we worked for, on behalf of Jesse, and all other children who we believe were abused under the watch of TVUSD administrators.… Read more

Meet the People Behind the Scandal

ritter

ritterTimothy Ritter, TVUSD Superintendent
2013 Compensation, $233,161
Email: tritter@tvusd.k12.ca.us
Telephone: (951) 506-7904

Tim Ritter is one of three people within the TVUSD who were aware of the undercover police operation that occurred for several months on Temecula school campuses. According to sworn testimony by TVUSD Director of Child Welfare and Attendance Michael Hubbard, Mr. Ritter is the person who authorized this operation.

In October, 2014, Ritter was fined by the State of California Fair Political Practices Commission because he did not disclose gifts he received from Stone & Youngberg LLC, an investment banking company who was fined for its involvement in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

 

 

brownRobert Brown, TVUSD School Board member
Email: bbrown@tvusd.k12.ca.us

Robert Brown is one of three people within the TVUSD who were aware of the undercover police operation that occurred for several months on Temecula school campuses. At the time the operation was authorized, Mr. Brown was the TVUSD School Board President, and it has been reported to us by district officials that Mr. Brown did not notify any of the other TVUSD board members.

On November 4, 2014, the voters of Temecula took matters into their own hands, and voted Brown out of office. Brown had been first elected to the TVUSD School Board in 1995, but in 2014 was on the wrong side of a landslide.

 

 

Hubbard

Michael Hubbard, TVUSD Director of Child Welfare and Attendance
2013 Compensation, $142,501
Email: mhubbard@tvusd.k12.ca.us

Telephone: (951) 506-7983

Michael Hubbard is one of three people within the TVUSD who were aware of Operation Glass House, the undercover police operation that occurred for several months on Temecula school campuses.… Read more