Thursday, May 10, 2007

Response from "disgruntled" teacher

Recently I discovered that Linda Lozito, a parent in West Contra Costa County School District in Richmond, California had written about me on the Internet. Her school district is also known as WCCCUSD, and was called Richmond Schools before it was reorganized in the 1990's after trying to declare bankrupcy. Here is my response.

I am the San Diego teacher whose sanity parent Linda Lozito of wccusdtalk questioned in order to defend Richard Werlin. Werlin was Assistant Superintendent of WCCCUSD in Richmond, California, until he had a teacher arrested in front of her second-graders because she complained about bullying. Werlin then proceeded to fall off the map, as he had done three years earlier in my school district, Chula Vista Elementary School District in the San Diego area.

Werlin held the same position when he was down here at CVESD. When he was subpoenaed in December 2003 to testify in my lawsuit against him, he suddenly claimed to have heart problems. He was seen looking hale and hearty soon afterward, but he stayed out of work and collected a lot of sick pay. Werlin's health problems seemed to have recurred the day after second-grade teacher Jenny Mo was arrested. A judge in San Diego decided that Werlin's heart problems were too mild to justify his request not to testify in court. Maybe the judge should have taken that into consideration that scientists have found that lying is stressful.

Ms. Lozito did not understand the PERB document she quoted in her comments. She seemed to think that a court decision had been reached in the PERB case. In fact, she was looking at a charge I filed against Richard Werlin. PERB did not do any fact-finding. It simply decided not to act on my charge. Since Richard Werlin was working with CTA, PERB's decision is not surprising. PERB's general counsel Robert Thompson has a decidedly odd relationship with CTA. He is very close to CTA's head counsel Beverly Tucker, and has never accepted a CTA member's complaint against CTA.

Linda Lozito looked among the shockingly false allegations of Richard Werlin that were quoted in the PERB refusal, and selected some quotes about me to put on the Internet. She suggested that wccusdtalk members look at my website ( and decide for themselves who was telling the truth. She reminded people that some teachers really are crazy.

Of course Linda is right that some teachers are crazy. The same is true of cab drivers, engineers,housewives, and school district administrators. But people in power have a bad habit of destroying anyone who questions their actions with the time-honored trick of calling their opponents crazy. (Remember how the Soviet Union put all those protesters in mental hospitals?)

I believe that Richard Werlin's behavior in the Jenny Mo case was over-the-top in its aggressiveness and vindictiveness. It was the result of poor leadership skills. I have personally seen Richard Werlin behave like someone with a severe anger management problem.

Jenny Mo's fellow employees wanted her to shut up about bullying at the school. They really shouldn't have been so afraid to openly discuss the subject. In fact, why not have a public discussion of the problem?

In my case, my fellow employees had secretly committed crimes against me, and I was asking questions that were likely to lead to the exposure of those crimes. Werlin and the teachers union wanted me to shut up, and worked together to cover up their wrongdoing. (Robin Donlan, the teacher who committed crimes against me, was a personal friend of the teachers union president.)

Linda Lozito apparently believed, without evidence, that Werlin and Robin Donlan and others were telling the truth, and tried to defend Werlin. This blind belief, obviously shared by teacher and wcccusd talk moderator Cathy Travalos, stands in opposition to the school district's decision to transfer Robin Donlan and her friends out of my school in 2004. But neither Lozito nor Travalos bothered to do the basic Googling that would have exposed serious problems in CVESD that were described by the San Diego Union Tribune, La Prensa, and San Diego Education Report. They didn't want to look at Werlin's legacy in Chula Vista. The transfer of five teachers was an unprecedented action to clean up a very serious problem. The school board had spent several $100,000's to cover up Robin Donlan's crimes, but Donlan was still causing trouble. The school board ended up spending even more money to defend itself from Robin. It should never have spent a dime on Castle Park Elementary. It should have transferred Robin Donlan and her co-conspirators in 2001.

Linda Lozito's apparent supposition that my opponents were honest and decent people received another blow this past weekend. Robin Donlan was sued for $7.7 million for stock options fraud. She is being investigated by the FBI, SEC, IRS and the Justice Department.

In my case, the California Teachers Association destroyed documents and committed perjury again and again. I plan to file a lawsuit soon regarding these crimes.

Parents of WCCCUSD, you will have better teachers for your kids if you demand that the law be followed when the union and the district work together to get rid of teachers. The targets are usually neither incompetent nor crazy. In my experience, the targets are usually the best teachers. The reason for the attack is almost always that the teacher has somehow gotten in the way of the union and/or district bosses' personal power.

CTA should be paying for a lawyer for Jennie Mo--and they shouldn't demand that they choose the lawyer! CTA refused to pay a cent for my representation--after I'd paid dues for twenty-five years!-- because I asked them to pay for a lawyer of my choice when I realized that the lawyer CTA chose for me was sabotaging me.)

You might also ask how much money your district has spent on defense lawyers in order to cover up wrongdoing.

Maura Larkins
San Diego

The above post is a response to
Linda Lozito's post about me.

If you go to the wccusdtalk site, and do a search for "werlin," you'll find other thoughts about the individual who has wreaked havoc in districts across the country.

Cathy Travalos, teacher at Kensington School and moderator of the group, was reluctant to publish my response on the wcccusd site, so I'm publishing it here.

Should I be surprised that a group that proclaims itself to be "open and honest" publishes misguided defenses of people it doesn't know, and refuses to allow rebuttals by individuals maligned in the process.

No. Anybody can proclaim themselves to be "open and honest" or "fair and balanced." If you want the truth told, you usually have to tell it yourself. So I've started a Yahoo group of my own. I've posted my correspondence with Cathy Travalos here.

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