October 30, 2023
Dear Shrewsbury Families,
I am sorry to have to share disturbing news with you. Todd Bazydlo, Shrewsbury High School Principal, has communicated this information specifically with students, families, and staff associated with the SHS Robotics program and also sent a message to all SHS families and staff. I am sharing this information with all families in the school district to ensure transparency and accuracy of information.
The school district was notified that Brian Lingard, who has served as a volunteer adult mentor to the Shrewsbury High School Robotics program since 2013, was arrested and is appearing today in the U.S. District Court in Worcester on charges of possessing and transporting child pornography.
While not part of the criminal charges, the complaint indicates that Mr. Lingard also possessed multiple images of fully clothed females, who appear to be minors, located in what looks to be a school setting. The images appear to have been taken surreptitiously and are focused on the buttocks of the females. The complaint indicates that Department of Homeland Security agents concluded from geolocation data on the images that at least some of them were taken at Shrewsbury High School approximately between 2018 and 2023. While the U.S. Attorney’s Office indicates that these images are not considered child pornography and are not part of the criminal charges, this information is deeply disturbing nonetheless.
This news is extremely concerning. Please note:
- We are not aware of any concerns raised related to Mr. Lingard’s volunteer role with the Shrewsbury High School Robotics team during his time as a mentor. SHS administration is communicating directly with students associated with the SHS Robotics team, their families, and robotics program coaches/volunteers to address any questions or concerns they have about this situation and to provide support as needed.
- Over his time as a mentor, Mr. Lingard has undergone and passed all required CORI and SAFIS criminal background checks for volunteers, including a required updated CORI check just this past August.
- Last week, when agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security communicated confidentially with the school district regarding an active investigation of Mr. Lingard, the school district took immediate steps so that he would not be present on campus or in communication with anyone associated with the Shrewsbury Public Schools during the investigation. At that time, our Information Technology Department reviewed and confirmed that Mr. Lingard has never utilized the school district’s technology system.
If you have questions about the investigation or pertinent information to share, you may call the U.S. Attorney’s Office Project Safe Childhood hotline at (617) 748-3274 to speak with a victim witness advocate. You are also welcome to call my office at (508) 841-8400 with questions.
Our school district will continue to communicate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding these criminal charges and ongoing investigation, and we will provide any necessary information and support as necessary in the days ahead.
Superintendent of Schools