Arlington Superintendent explains lockdown


LAGRANGE – Dr. Brendan Lyons, superintendent of Arlington Central School District has issued a statement regarding Tuesday’s lockdown at the high school and has addressed at least one associated rumor.

Lyons said the high school went into lockdown as a result of an activation of the automated lockdown system at 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday.  As a result of the activation, a lockdown was initiated for all students and staff in accordance with district emergency management protocols.

The school resource officer, a deputy with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, was at the school and began an investigation into the alarm activation. 

Many students sent texts and pictures to their parents and others indicating that they were in lockdown and did not know why.  

Additional members of the sheriff’s office, as well as state troopers, reported to Arlington High School and at least one member of law enforcement was seen running towards the entrance of the school with a rifle.

That individual, dressed in plain clothes was recorded on video by some students.  That video was then sent to parents and others, causing a wave of fear to strike the community.  Superintendent Lyons has said that the person in the video was later identified as a member of law enforcement.

A post on social media by school employee Caitlin Dipalma Finn said “I work here; we are on lockdown due to a fight and yes a gun is involved but we are all safe.”  

When asked about the post, made during the lockdown, Lyons said “This post was not based on any factual information and it was irresponsible of our employee to post and/or forward this statement.”  When pressed about potential disciplinary measures, Lyons said that the district does not comment on personnel matters.

As for the lockdown, law enforcement determined that no credible threat existed and the lockdown was lifted at approximately 3:30 p/m.  Students were dismissed beginning at 4:45 p.m.  

Lyons indicated that the cause for the triggering of the lockdown is still under investigation.  In a message sent to district parents and staff on Tuesday evening, Dr. Lyons thanked the school community for their response and cooperation. “I would like to thank the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and the NYS Troopers who responded to the alarm. I commend all of the officers for their professionalism and diligence. Thank you to our high school administrators, faculty, and staff for their commitment to keeping our students safe. Thank you to our students who remained calm and followed their teachers’ instructions. Finally, thank you to our parents for understanding that the safety of our students and staff was our first priority. We appreciate your patience and your faith in us.” 

The district is providing additional counseling services for students and staff throughout the rest of the week as needed.