By Caleb Hutton
For the Arlington Times
ARLINGTON — A gym teacher at an Arlington elementary school was arrested this week after telling another teacher he was “going to murder everyone’s children in the building and make them watch,” police reports filed in court Tuesday say.
The other teacher reported he’d greeted Andrew Thomas Medley Thursday afternoon in the Presidents Elementary School gym, and Medley seemed agitated.
“I am going to murder everyone in the building,” Medley said, police reports say. “Scratch that, I am going to murder everyone’s children in the building and make them watch.”
Medley, 52, had gotten in trouble for making a sexual comment about little girls to other staffers, and he told the other teacher that the staff had betrayed him, reports say. He was placed on administrative leave for “inappropriate comments to school staff” and ordered not to return until he was told to, police wrote.
School staff couldn’t get help Friday, so on Monday a school district staffer called police. The school went into lockdown while police went to Medley’s home in Bellingham.
The gym teacher denied making a comment about wanting to harm anyone, but admitted he did say something about how he “wishes they have a ‘slow and painful death,’” court papers say. Medley was arrested for investigation of felony harassment. Arlington police booked him into Snohomish County Jail in Everett Monday night.
Judge Tam Bui set bail Tuesday at $10,000 in Everett District Court. Public defender Robert O’Neal told the judge that Medley had been going through a stressful divorce.
School officials and police have talked about how to best handle threats like this in the future, city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. Gary Sabol, a school district spokesman, acknowledged that a 9-1-1 call probably should have been made Friday.
“The bottom line from the district is that we’re doing everything we can to keep students and staff safe,” he said. “That’s the number one goal.”