Arlington school district responds to recent violence

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LAGRANGE – A violent assault on a student at Arlington High School on Wednesday has drawn a response from Arlington Central School District officials.  The Mid-Hudson News story of the violent attack by two students on a third teenager can be found here.

After the story was published, The ACSD Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer, Melissa Erlebacher, responded on behalf of the district. “Arlington takes the safety and security of our students seriously. We have been working closely with local law enforcement on this matter. Today, Friday, March 25,  there was an increased law enforcement presence at the school as an added precaution, which will continue next week.”

On Friday afternoon, AHS Executive Principal John Orcutt sent a letter to the AHS community.  The entire letter is below:

“Although the total number of fights at Arlington High School is down significantly compared to September through March during the ‘17- ‘18, ‘18-’19, and ’19-’20 school years – the last two weeks have been concerning. We have seen an increase in serious verbal and physical altercations among our students.

Today I requested the presence of additional law enforcement officers. In addition, our safety team and administrators were as visible as possible in the hallways and common spaces. 

This weekend, please take a few minutes to talk to your children. Please encourage them to report any potential conflicts before they escalate to an altercation.  Through the course of our investigations, we have discovered that for each of these recent incidents, several students knew that an altercation was about to happen well before it occurred. Other students used social media to hype and promote some of the fights before they occurred. Had we been aware, we could have prevented some of these incidents.

Students who engage in verbal and physical altercations will face the most severe consequences that I am able to give them. We will also consult law enforcement on every incident to determine if charges are also appropriate.  Additionally, depending on the circumstances, students who record altercations may also face consequences. Recording an altercation may indicate an awareness, promotion, or premeditation of the altercation.  Circulating the video may also be considered a form of harassment, bullying, cyberbullying, or intimidation.

All students deserve to feel safe and secure when they come to school. Violence, bullying, and intimidation cannot be tolerated. It will take all of us working together – administrators, staff, students, and family members to ensure that Arlington High School is a safe place for all our students. As a reminder, students can also report concerns through the  Quick Tip or  Hear Something? See Something? Say Something! tip line listed on our website.”