Arlington Police are investigating an alleged assault on a high school senior earlier this month that has led to nine students being suspended for bullying.
Arlington High School Interim Principal Mary Villano said the assault on the female student occurred two weekends ago, was not on school grounds and that alcohol was a factor.
Villano would not provide more details about the assault other than to say it came after a conflict and was not a sexual assault. She said most of the students who were suspended for 10 days in connection to the incident were females and seniors at the high school. The students are still serving their suspensions, and while they were all involved in the incident, Villano said they were not all directly involved in the assault.
“We want people to know that we took it seriously and addressed it,” Villano said.
Arlington Police Captain Richard Flynn said police are investigating, but would not release further information until the investigation is complete.
Villano said in an email sent to parents right before the Thanksgiving break last week that once the incident was brought to the school’s attention administrators interviewed students with their parents before taking disciplinary measures.
“I am both saddened and troubled about the incident and our Administrative Team has taken this matter very seriously,” Villano said in the emailed notice to parents.
The principal said in the email that the school will continue to provide students opportunities to express their feelings about bullying and will work with a local coalition on youth health and safety to facilitate conversations with the community around underage drinking by students.
Villano said Tuesday that the school is not releasing the names of the students involved in the incident. She said the school conducted a thorough investigation and the students who were suspended are due back in school later this week.
The suspensions in connection to the bullying incident come after 13 student athletes received suspensions from their respective sports in connection to an alleged underage drinking party at the home of former Arlington Selectwoman Annie LaCourt last month. Villano said said one student on the boys soccer team, one of the football team and two students on the crew team faced penalties this fall because of their involvement in the party. Nine other students will face penalties in the winter and spring sports.
Last year Villano placed a moratorium on dances at the high school because of the number of kids who were drinking and dancing inappropriately. The school lifted the moratorium on dances in the spring, but promised to conduct random Breathalyzer tests on students as well as conducting the breath tests on students suspected of drinking at the dances.