An East Aurora teacher was arrested Monday evening after police say he had crack cocaine on him during a traffic stop in Buffalo. YNN's Katie Cummings has more from students and the district.
EAST AURORA, N.Y. — It should have been a regular meeting of the East Aurora Board Wednesday but no one could ignore the news that a district teacher was arrested Monday.
Police in Buffalo say 36-year-old Ryan Ellis of North Tonawanda was pulled over on the city’s east side during a traffic stop and found to have crack cocaine on him.
The district took action once it learned of Ellis arrest.
"We have initiated an internal investigation into this very serious matter. While this investigation is pending, Mr. Ellis is on leave of absence and is not teaching the district's students," said Brian Russ, East Aurora Union Free School District Superintendent.
Ellis has been with the district since 2003. However, during his tenure as teacher, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said he had two DWIs; one in 2006, which included a license revocation, and another in 2009.
Students couldn’t believe the accusations.
"I thought it was really surprising and it spread around really quickly throughout the school, but I didn’t have any idea that he was doing this kind of stuff," said Mary Luellen, a senior.
"He was an awesome teacher I thought. He was super fun, laid back. He was a good guy so it's kind of sad almost that this happened," said Katie Kinsella, a senior.
A parent declined to speak on camera but told YNN that Ellis was a good teacher and he came to the meeting to support him.
Meanwhile, students say in his position he serves as a role model and shouldn’t get his job back.
"It’s always sad when you see something like this happen and having someone leave, but since it's not the first account that he's had problems like this, it’s probably not a wise decision to have him come back," Kinsella said.
“I really don’t think he would give it or sell it to any of the students, I mean, since he was doing it outside of school. I think it’s still wrong and especially now since he got caught it's unprofessional," Luellen said.
Ellis has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. The district says it’s working with law enforcement.