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Important and Concerning Information

Dear Members of the BCSD School Community,

I am once again very disappointed to be sharing deeply concerning information with you. As you may be aware based on reports in the media, the Office of Homeland Security arrested a former staff member, Leonard Ortiz, Jr., on charges of receipt, distribution, and possession of child pornography. Mr. Ortiz was a Teaching Assistant in a 12:1:4 classroom at Council Rock Primary School from November 3, 2021 through March 1, 2022. He went on to eventually become a Teaching Assistant in the East Irondequoit CSD.

At this time, law enforcement officials have informed the district that they have not found any images of East Irondequoit or Brighton students and have assured us that they do not have any suspicion of inappropriate behavior related to his work at Brighton or elsewhere. Throughout Mr. Ortiz’s temporary employment, there was never a report of questionable behavior or activity, or any reason to suspect illegal or inappropriate behavior.

Mr. Ortiz was subject to a background check and employment screening prior to commencing his employment with the school district. This screening also included a search of the New York State Sex Offender Registry, which came through the State Education Department.

District counselors and social workers, as well as the BIVONA Child Advocacy Center, are available for any students and families who would like additional support processing this information. If anyone has any additional information relating to the charges, we encourage you to contact the Homeland Security Tip Line at 716-954-6362 or email Families whose children worked with Mr. Ortiz have already been contacted directly and informed of this information. If you have not been contacted, then your child did not work with this individual.

We are an organization that prides itself on providing care for the children of this community with the very best people. I am steadfast in my confidence in the people that work in the District and believe deeply in their level of care and concern for all students. It is so disappointing when we follow a rigorous process for hiring and supervising individuals, which we did in this case as well, and a situation like this occurs. Please know that we all share your concern, anger, and sadness and will continue to do everything in our power to keep our students safe.

Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools