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APS pauses overnight field trips to Outdoor Lab after ‘incident’ involving a student

Arlington Public Schools has “paused” some overnight field trips amid a law enforcement investigation.

Some fifth-grade students were on a recent overnight field trip to the school system’s Outdoor Lab in Fauquier County when an incident allegedly occurred and was reported to the local Sheriff’s Office.

In response, APS is not conducting any additional overnight field trips to the facility for fifth graders at this time, spokesman Frank Bellavia confirmed to ARLnow.

“APS has temporarily stopped overnight trips but day trips are still happening,” he said. “This is a temporary pause in overnight trips to the Lab as we review and revisit our staffing and safety procedures.”

Jeffrey Long, Public Information Officer for the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed law enforcement is looking into an incident reported on March 30. He did not elaborate on what allegedly transpired at the 225-acre wooded facility about an hour from Arlington, just that it involved “one or more juvenile.”

“As this is an ongoing investigation I am not able to provide details of the incident,” Long told ARLnow in an email. “There have been no charges filed at this time.”

In addition to one-night overnight field trips for fifth graders, the school system sponsors day trips and summer camps at the Outdoor Lab.

Owned by the nonprofit Arlington Outdoor Education Association and used by APS, Outdoor Lab celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. It was founded with financial support from the late Arlington philanthropist Preston Caruthers.

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