North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington teacher arrested after alleged threats


January 31, 2018 | View PDF

An Arlington School District teacher from Presidents Elementary was arrested last week for allegedly making threats against students.

According to a press release from the school district and the city of Arlington, the statement was made by the teacher to another staff member on Friday, Jan. 19.

After the staff member heard these comments they alerted district administrators who did an initial investigation and then alerted the police on the same day, according to the district's press release.

Some reports of the incident indicate that the Arlington Police Department were not notified on Jan. 19, however this is incorrect according to Kristin Banfield, city of Arlington communications manager.

“There has been some misinformation,” spreading around because earlier statements released by city officials were incorrect, she said.

“Because a police report had not been filed yet, nothing showed up for our case search of that address,” said Banfield.

Due to this there was a false assumption that a police officer had not begun investigating the incident on that Friday, however this was incorrect, said Banfield.

The Arlington School District and the city of Arlington now report that police were notified on Friday, Jan. 17.

After police were contacted on Jan. 17 the teacher was placed on administrative leave, turned in his keys and identification and was escorted away from the school.

The district reports that the teacher was “cooperative and left without incident.”

Arlington police officers were at the school at the time he was escorted out.

District officials stayed in contact with the teacher and their union representative over the weekend to set up a time to continue an investigation.

They also stayed in contact with the employee who reported the threat.

On Jan. 22 Presidents Elementary was on a modified lockdown so that the only access to the school was through the front doors.

The teacher did not return to the school that day.

A School Resource Officer from the Arlington Police Department was on hand that day and met with Presidents Elementary staff and district concerning the investigation.

Arlington police officers arrested the teacher at his home that day.

The next day, on Jan. 23, the teacher was ordered held on a $10,000 bail

School district officials said that the investigation is still ongoing so not much more can be disclosed about the incident at this time.

“We continue to work closely with the Arlington Police Department. Although I understand it is frustrating for parents to receive limited information, much of what is happening in the moment, if shared, can hinder the investigation and potentially put students and staff at greater risk,” said Arlington School District superintendent Chrys Sweeting in a letter to local families.

Sweeting also wrote that the district plans to discuss recent criticisms from local families over their handling of the incident.

“Every situation is unique, and we can always learn and improve. It is our practice to debrief these incidents and identify things that went well and areas for improvement. Comments received from parents and community members are taken into consideration during these debriefing conversations” she wrote.


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