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Five Acts of Violence in Village Schools Documented During First Half of Year

Ridgewood High School co-principal Basil Pizzuto presented the findings of the "Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying" and "Vandalism and School Violence" reports to the school board.

Five incidents in Ridgewood schools fell under the state's new during the first half of the school year, according to co-principal Basil Pizzuto.

Unlike in years past, with the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABBRA) procedures now in place, district officials are required to initiate a formal investigation into allegations of harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) that fall under the guidelines in 2011-2012.

The district has tight timelines and faces process audits in completing investigations and has vocally expressed its support of the intent of the laws but opined it fundamentally changes the relationship educators have with students and parents.

In his presentation to the school board Monday night, Pizzuto said there were five acts of violence recorded in schools from September through the end of December.

Three of the incidents occurred at and the other two took place at the high school, he said. All five were investigated and found to meet the HIB standards.

There were also three instances of substance abuse and four acts of vandalism, the RHS co-principal said. There were no recorded weapons offenses.

"We usually have in the 30 range," Pizzuto said, citing previous yearly statistics. "Twelve seems a little bit light ... the beginning of the year tends to be quieter as these things are concerned."

Pizzuto said he'd be back in October to detail the remaining incidents from January through June.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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