47 Violent Incidents in Morris School District Last Year, Report Shows

The state Department of Education released its annual report on the number of violent incidents in schools last year.

The New Jersey Department of Education on Thursday released its annual Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in the Schools Report for 2012-13.

The reports highlight the number of violent incidents in a school district in various categories, including harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB). It is the second year HIB incidents are being reported in their own category.

But according to Morris School District spokes person Mary Donohoe, the numbers on their face don't tell the whole story.

"I am not sure how it is done in other districts but we take our reporting responsibility very seriously," Donohoe said. "We follow it more than just to the letter. It is an enormous amount of work that gets put into the reporting."

Donohoe said the district does not just include incidents that have to do with class designations and also reports those happening at the elementary school level.

"We reported incidents when elementary school kids threw a pencil as a violent act," Donohoe said. "And when one student hid another students lunch as HIB. We take reporting very seriously."

Impeccable adherence to accountability is a pattern with the Morris School District, who just last month passed an audit where there was nothing that could be improved upon.

Enrollment: 5,024

Violence: 47

Vandalism: 5

Weapons: 5

Substances: 34

HIB: 76

The following types of incidents are included in each category. Violence: fights, assaults, and robberies. Vandalism: bomb threats, burglaries, damage to private property, and thefts.

More than one third of HIB incidents throughout the state occurred in the classroom.

Student HIB offenders in grades five through 12 were responsible for 56 percent of these offenses. This population accounts for only 29 percent the state’s student population.

Fifteen percent of HIB incidents targeted students because of their race or color, the state noted.


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