The statistics date from 2005/2006, and the methodology is questionable, however New Jersey Dept. of Education just released a report on the incidence of crime in our public schools. There’s good news and bad news: for the first time in five years, no schools fall into the “persistently dangerous” category; however, there’s a slight increase in violent crimes and bullying. From The NY TImes:

New Jersey’s 2,400 public schools reported a slight increase in violence, vandalism and substance use problems in 2005-6 from the previous school year, in part because of more instances of harassment, bullying and threats, state education officials announced yesterday.

More from The Star Ledger:

…”The reporting system is so very, very flawed and incomplete,” said Stuart Green, a Summit psychologist and director of New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention. “Bullying is so common everywhere that fluctuations in the numbers don’t even begin to capture it.”
The report’s overall numbers also remain circumspect, with the state tightening definitions over the last several years and now double-checking districts for any inordinate drops.

The Baristaville schools rap sheet: Montclair, 44 incidents (increase of 14 from previous year); Bloomfield, 44 incidents (decreased of 29 from previous year); Glen Ridge, 8 incidents (up 2). For the breakout on violent crimes, which are on the rise in Montclair and Glen Ridge, but decreasing in Bloomfield, check the full report here.

11 replies on “Rap Sheet For NJ Schools”

  1. Before anyone goes applauding the new superintednent/principal duo in Bloomfield, take note – this covers the 2005/06 school year – still under the Dowsini management.

  2. Just because bullying is common and measurable in a variety of different ways does not render the DOE’s analysis de facto unreliable. It would be nice if reporters occasionally solicited the opinions of academics or other researchers who do not necessarily have a conflict of interest in these sorts of data. The head of an advocacy group is clearly going to be biased in his or her interpretation of the methodology and results. The efforts of the NJDOE to be more comprehensive in their assessment of aggression among students should be applauded and not chastised. This is very difficult work.

  3. It’s hard to imagine that there is actually something called the “New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention.” I can only vaguely imagine the sorts who might straightfacedly join such a coalition.
    There are many ways to deal with bullies. One is to push back, eventually, sometimes after physical training. Another is to push back in force, with friends. Another is simply to tell the nuns. Another is to simply transfer out if possible, switch classes, whatever. Still another is……
    But to form a “coalition?” These are things kids have to learn how to deal with themselves, as a rule. That they’re usually better for dealing with by themselves. I even wonder how psychologist Green defines bullying, how he would measure it in schools.
    It also should not be necessarily inferred that bullying always constitutes violent crime in schools. A bigger and nastier kid who strongly hints that he’d do better spending your lunch money than you would acts in a grayish legal zone, no? (This is why it often proves so satisfying to the bullied to punch the rotter in the nose, after all.)

  4. Any teachers out there care to discuss the (many) “bullying” workshops they have had to attend?
    And how much did the “professionals” make to “create” these workshops? Lots I bet. How does one become an expert in bullying anyway?

  5. Actually, bullying is illegal, whether verbal or physical (harassment/threat complaints can and have been filed); all school districts must have a policy in place to address this behavior(prevention, intervention, and consequences)in every school.
    And yes, the workshops were many, indeed.

  6. Laura, as I have noted at least twice before, you remain a repository of much common sense and wit. Whether or no you are ever being entirely serious, too.

  7. There is “bullying” and there is violence; to me they are different, although, especially among boys, related.
    I was bullied in high school by other girls. No threat of violence happened but there was a lot of psychological bullying. And I don’t see how any coalition can regulate that. However, teachers should stop it when they see it. For instance, my gym teacher knew these girls were harassing me and said nothing to them.

  8. Whereas, exit 151, I’m sure you lack even your family jewels. Probably through shrivelling because of non-use, as opposed to theft.
    You post smarmily, too.

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