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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Report: Fewer Incidents in County Schools

By Joe Hart

TRENTON — Cape May County school districts reported some of the lowest totals of violence, vandalism, weapons and substance abuse in the 2005-06 school year according to a report released by the state Department of Education (DOE) Aug. 29.
According to the DOE, the report provided detailed information on a wide range of incidents, from bullying, fighting, trespassing, theft and fireworks possession to major behavioral problems such as sex offences, assault, extortion and possession of firearms and drugs at the state’s approximately 2,400 public schools.
Incidents are divided into four categories: violence, vandalism, weapons and substance.
In this county, 10 of the 17 districts reported five or fewer incidents and five of those reported none at all including: Avalon, Dennis Township, Lower Township, Stone Harbor and West Cape May.
Five schools reported more than 25 incidents including: Lower Cape May Regional, 28; Wildwood, 44; County Special Services, 46; Middle Township, 58; and Ocean City, 72.
Ocean City topped the other districts in incidents of violence, 50, and vandalism, 11, while Middle Township had the most incidents of weapons, 4, and substance, 21.
The study said throughout the state a total of 18,796 incidents were reported statewide in 2005-06, an increase of two percent over the number reported in 2004-05.
According to the report, the increase was driven mainly by a two percent increase in reported incidents of violence and a nine percent increase in reported incidents of vandalism.
Locally the trend was opposite.
Countywide there were 275 total incidents, a 12 percent decrease over the previous year’s total of 312.
Over the two years, county schools saw a decrease in all four categories particularly in incidents of violence, 187 to 167, 11 percent; and weapons, 27 to 15, 44 percent.
In this county for the 2004-05 school year, seven districts had five or fewer incidents and five reported no incidents.
During that year, there were four districts with more than 25 incidents: County Vocational, 25; Middle Township, 57; Wildwood, 60; and Ocean City, 90.
Ocean City had the most incidents in three categories: violence, 53; vandalism, 15; and substance, 20, while Middle Township had the most weapons incidents, 9.
Contact Hart at (609) 886-8600 Ext 35 or at: jhart@cmcherald.com

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