The Hays Consolidated Independent School District released a letter from Uhland Elementary School’s principal Cynthia Vasquez Thursday following the arrest of a Head Start employee, who was booked Wednesday, March 20, into Hays County Jail by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.
Mark Anthony Ortega, Jr. was arrested at 10:13 AM, Wednesday, on three charges of indecency with a child – sex contact.
On March 10, Vasquez released a letter to parents stating that the district had received a report of a Head Start employee being accused of inappropriate behavior involving a head start student; the Hays County Sheriff’s office was investigating and the accused employee would not be allowed on campus until further notice.
Tim Savoy said, “Head Start employees are not Hays CISD employees, but they are required to undergo the same rigorous employment standards as regular school employees, including fingerprint background checks.”
Head Start is an independent program that uses space at the elementary school.
The program promotes readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local communities; the program “help prepare and support children five years old and younger’s comprehensive development.”
In the initial letter, Vasquez said the district did not have any information that the misconduct involved more than one student or any student outside of the morning Head Start Program.
Vasquez said in today’s letter that the Hays County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation determined there may be three potential victims, all of whom are Head Start students.
Ortega has been booked in Hays County Jail with a bond set at $10,000.00.
The school district says counselors will continue to be available to students when classes resume following Spring Break.
“This news is, of course, incredibly upsetting,” said Savoy. “Principal Cynthia Vasquez captures the sentiment of the entire district in her letters to parents.”
Both Vasquez’s original letter, sent March 10, and the latest letter can be viewed below.
March 21, 2019 Letter
March 10, 2019 Letter