EAST AURORA, NY (WKBW) -Dozens of students and parents filled the East Aurora Middle School Library to attend the school board meeting Wednesday night. Many were looking for answers following the arrest of a popular technology and physics teacher earlier this week.
36-year-old Ryan Ellis is on administrative leave following his arrest for crack cocaine possession in Buffalo Monday night.
"It makes a lot of people mad that he does this kind of stuff and then in turn helps kids at the same time," said Student Kayla Cunningham. "Don't get me wrong, we all make mistakes but this is shocking."
The East Aurora School Board met in executive session prior to the scheduled regular meeting. Members wouldn't discuss what was addressed in that private meeting, but they did tell concerned residents they discussed the employment history of a certain employee and the possible removal of that person..
"We met in executive session to discuss the employment history of a particular person, as well as matters leading up to the potential dismissal and removal of that particular employee," said Daniel Brunson, president of the board.
According to court documents, this wasn't the first brush with the law for Mr. Ellis. In 2001, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor of criminal possession of a controlled substance charge. In 2009, he was charged with DWI. Ellis started with the district back in September of 2003. According to the school superintendent, when Ellis was hired he was cleared for employment by the state.
"We have initiated an internal investigation," read East Aurora School Superintendent Brian Russ from a prepared statement. "While this investigation is pending Mr. Ellis is on a leave of absence and is not teaching the district's students."
Ellis is due back in court next month.