In Second Year of Anti-Bullying Act, Reports Drop Sharply in NJ Schools

Latest data indicates fewer incidents of bullying and harassment, shows districts take different approaches to problems.

By John Mooney, Courtesy of NJ Spotlight

New Jersey schools seem to still be searching for their equilibrium when it comes to bullying and harassment, according to the latest data. They also show a fairly wide range of responses to these incidents. The state Department of Education released its latest school violence and vandalism data for the 2012-2013 school year, the second full year of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.

Tellingly, after a first year in which there was a 50 percent rise in the number of bullying cases reported and investigated by schools, the latest data shows nearly as much of a drop, with a 40 percent decrease in the number of investigations. Overall, districts conducted 21,934 investigations this past year -- on average, close to 40 for every district. There were more than 35,500 investigations reported in 2011-2012, the law’s first year, almost double the number.

The Christie administration said the drop reflected the schools’ growing awareness of the issue and the introduction of programs to address bullying.

“We are pleased to see positive trends this year,” said state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf in releasing the data.

Read more at NJSpotlight.com

NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded. 


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