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BOE Statement Regarding Comments Made by Riverhead Board of Education Vice President

The Brentwood Union Free School District's Board of Education condemns the statements made by Laurie Downs, who also currently serves as the Riverhead School District's Board of Education Vice President. Ms. Downs' statements, which reportedly mentioned Brentwood in the context of "Latino kids" and "gangs in our schools" was derogatory, harmful, and incorrect.

If Ms. Downs, or anyone else, were to actually learn the truth about the Brentwood School District, she would find that each year, Brentwood provides a first-class education to thousands of students. In fact, Brentwood students are regularly accepted to the best colleges and universities in the nations, our students win some of the most prestigious science competitions in the country, our students excel in the arts, and our graduates have gone on to become local and national leaders in a variety of fields.

While we understand that Ms. Downs has apologized and stated that she would "educate herself" about diverse communities, the damage has already been done. Nevertheless, the Brentwood community will continue to do what we have always done---rally around our students and staff to continue displaying our success.


Eileen Felix


Brentwood Board of Education

Julia Burgos - 1st Vice President

Cynthia Ciferri - 2nd Vice President

Hassan Ahmed - Trustee

Maria Gonzalez-Prescod - Trustee

Simone Holder-Daniel - Trustee

Maria Malave - Trustee

Richard Loeschner - Superintendent