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Assaults, Fights Down in Brick Schools

Violence and Vandalism data released by state agency

Assaults and fights between students in Brick Township schools were down during the 2011-12 school year, but the district led the county in the number of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) reports it sent to the state.

Violence and Vandalism report data was released by the state Department of Education Tuesday.

The report showed Brick – Ocean County's second-largest school district – only led the county in the HIB category. In most other categories, the number of incidents was relatively small given the district's large size of 9,748 students.

In all, the number of assaults district-wide dropped from 81 the prior year to 52 last year, and the number of fights dropped from 49 to 26.

There were also 16 threats – a new category in the report this year – reported to the state, which brought Brick's total number of incidents in the violence category to 94.

The district had six reports of vandalism, four weapons reports and 42 substance abuse reports submitted to the state agency.

County-wide, Lakewood Township topped the violence statistics with 134 incidents overall, as well as the number of weapons reports, with 20. Toms River topped the vandalism statistics with 12 incidents, as well as the substance abuse category with 66 incidents reported.

But Brick held the top spot for the number of HIB reports submitted. Assistant Superintendent Walter Hrycenko said the district was exceptionally diligent in submitting HIB reports – required under the state's anti-bullying law – and some simple conflicts between students may have been reported as bullying incidents.

"We tried to err on the side of, 'if we weren't sure, put it in as a HIB,'" said Hrycenko. "It's a fine line. We're going to look at that closely."

As for the reduction in the number of assaults and fights, Hrycenko said the district's anti-bullying program is working, as well as its ongoing character education program. But keeping a keen eye on students has been effective as well.

"We attribute it to better monitoring in the schools," said Hrycenko, adding that the district's block scheduling in the high schools means students spend less time in the hallways.

This week is the district's "Week of Respect" where students will attend assemblies focused on respecting others. On Thursday, students are being encouraged to wear yellow, the color that symbolizes respect.

Full report data can be downloaded from the state's website.

Mr. Smith October 03, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Could it be that mom or dad are home and involved because they can not find jobs? I guess something good has come from all this
sweetpumpkin October 03, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Iam sure Truth to that Mr. Smith. as far as the anit bully law, I get it.... personally was bullied my entire school life. Including teacher doing it to me. BUT I dont think it should be a law.. also, the teachers & staff still turn a blind eye on who they are going to inforce this on.
WMS826 October 03, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Sure looks like it had an effect on your school'in sweetpumpkin's. Thank you liberal NJ Democrats who passed a law that forbids the public school system from expelling bad students. Despite how bad they are, the school must still accept them everyday.
BW October 04, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Why are the HIB reports up? Because this anti-bulling law, protects the BULLY not the VICTIM. Been going through this crap for 5 years now and the school does nothing to stop the bully, The law is a joke.
lolaBrid October 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
@ bm it sure is a joke ... my daughter was targeted in middle school everyday on the bus with a group of boys.. the coldest day of the yr they took her coat & threw it in an icy puddle she walked home crying & freezing... after many incidences( including never having a seat on the bus where she sat on the floor most of middle school, with the school saying they never saw anything ( one of the kids was a starter football player) after advocating for her & the school doing nothing, you can thank your tax dollars ( & mine ) I had her pulled out & the BOE to pay for her to go out of district including transportation. This is not what I wanted to DO. I wanted the kids that were involved in tormenting my daughter to be punished... But that never happened. they asked the boys did they do what they did they lied & said NO & that was the end of it... BTW she got a better education & readiness for the work force in the school where she finished her middle school into freshman yr . This was a few yrs ago... maybe schools got sick of part of the the budget going to the kids education instead of their pockets & finally did something to change it.
john October 07, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Well its time for something to be done. Its time for these school to put the pressure on these kids.And if that doesnt work put the pressure on the parents. If these kids cant behave then get rid of them...and let the parent know this ahead of time. If your kid does this or that...they are gone. Gone as in not aloud to be in ANY public schools in NJ. Maybe these parents will wake up and whip their kids into shape....just like our parents used to.
NJ resident October 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM
NJ Democrates? Try the federal law - you can not expell special education students unless you have meetings and go through a "process". Much of the behaviors in schools are carried out by kids with emotional and behavioral issues. Parents were very instrumental in making sure the offenders were not given consequences because behaviors could be traced to disabilities. Not everything we don't like in life can be attributed to liberals. I guess it happens to be a talking point of some.

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