Nutley School Violence Incidents Rise
Nutley's Superintendent of Schools tells the school board Monday night that the number of incidents has stayed in a similar range for years, and prevention programs are increasing.
The Nutley School District's violence and vandalism report for the 2011-12 school year showed a slight increase in reported incidents of violence.
A total of 68 incidents of violence were reported in the district's schools for last year, an increase from 53 reports in 2010-11, Superintendent of Schools Russell Lazovick said.
"There are no major increases, just a spike here or a dip there," Lazovick said. "Actions are being taken where needed. We sit down, and see what causes a spike, and how we need to address it, or, what caused a dip and how we can expand that to other schools."
Lazovick talked about the district's zero tolerance policy, and what students are taught is acceptable behavior at all times.
He said programs continue to expand with the help of groups like the Nutley Parent Advocacy Network, along with the Municipal Alliance that educates students about drug and alcohol abuse, and the school's work with peer education and mentoring.
"We are teaching students to make better decisions for themselves and in dealing with others," Lazovick said.
Elementary schools have a respect campaign poster contest, while the middle school uses the Aretha Franklin song, "Respect," and a specialist teaching students about how to make the school "bully-free," Lazovick said.
In the high school, the Gay-Straight Alliance is very active in teaching tolerance, he said.
Some of the numbers shared by Lazovick are incidents of vandalism dropping from 10 to five from two years ago to last year; weapons offenses dropping in half, from four to two and substance abuse cases dropping from nine to six.