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Polk School Superintendent Byrd Recommending Immediate Termination For Davenport School Janitor

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Polk County School Board Press Release

Statement Regarding Arrest of Jose Baez-Ortiz, Custodian from Davenport School of the Arts


Jose Baez-Ortiz, a custodian with Polk County Public Schools who worked at Davenport School of the Arts, has been arrested today by the
Polk County Sheriff’s Office on charges of inappropriately touching a student.

“The charges against this employee are disturbing,” said Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd. “This type of behavior is totally unacceptable
and will not be tolerated. I have reviewed information from the Sheriff’s Office. I am immediately suspending this employee without pay and will recommend to the School Board that his employment be terminated. Our students’ wellbeing and safety is our primary
concern. We are cooperating fully with the Sheriff’s Office in its investigation and urge anyone with relevant information to contact law enforcement.”

Jose Baez-Ortiz’s annual salary is $18,799. His hire date is 1/18/2011. There is no prior disciplinary action in his personnel file.

Please contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for information about the ongoing criminal investigation.

An automated telephone call is being sent to the parents and guardians of students at Davenport School of the Arts to make them aware of
his arrest and this investigation:

Dear parents and family members,


This message is being sent on behalf of Davenport School of the Arts. We want to notify you that one of our custodial employees, Jose Baez-Ortiz, was arrested today by the Polk County
Sheriff’s Office on allegations of inappropriate touching of a student. We have notified the proper authorities and are cooperating fully with the Sheriff’s Office as they continue their investigation. If you have any information to report, please contact
Lieutenant Ian Rylott at 863-298-6327. We take these allegations very seriously and will work to ensure the safety of our students. Thank you.

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