At first blush, the level of incidents reported for the annual school violence and vandalism report may seem higher than normal.
It's because the district must include "harrassment, intimidation and bullying" (HIB) incidents in the report as a result of new legislation, Ridgewood High School assistant principal Basil Pizzuto reported to the school board Monday night.
According to Pizzuto, a total of 38 incidents were reported district-wide for the 2011-2012 school year, higher than the previous two years. There's a caveat, however. A total of 12 HIB reports were included in that total, he told the school board. Remove those, it's just about in line with past totals.
Broken down, a total of 26 events were documented from January through July, the second required reporting period per state guidelines. Sixteen incidents qualified as violence or HIB, 5 were documented as theft/vandalism, no weapons were found at school, and 5 substance abuse cases were made, Pizzuto said. There were five incidents from September-December that were documented as HIB/violence.
Pizzuto said the level of HIB reports declined from the first part of the year to the second.
"As students become familiar with the law and our seriousness with it, the number will drop," he told the school board. "I think we are progressing well."
According to Pizzuto, the total number of students involved in HIB, violence-related incidents was 51 for the 2011-2012 school year. That figure represents about 1 percent of the nearly 6,000 students across a dozen schools.
The high school assistant principal said former school resource officer Detective Chris McDowell would be meeting monthly with him and staff to continually monitor situations.
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