Friday, October 24, 2008

Safe Schools

Are our schools safe? The answer is “Compared to what?” Although crime statistics in schools are notoriously unreliable (not every incidence is reported), New Jersey does track the number of criminal occurrences within each school, whether or not a police report is filed. On average, our schools are a bit safer when compared to New Jersey or Monmouth County as a whole. However, when compared on a district by district basis, Matawan-Aberdeen doesn’t fare as well.

As the table below demonstrates, even including last year’s blip, our district’s rate of criminal conduct is below the county rate. Yet, out of 56 school districts, we rank just below the halfway mark.

Year Rank Enrolment Violence vandalism Weapons Subtances Total
2003-04 25 3,864 14 7 5 5 31
2004-05 28 3,839 31 8 3 2 43
2005-06 29 3,809 23 9 6 5 41
2006-07 32 3,901 33 9 1 8 51
2007-08 3,733 26 6 7 3 42

Year Incident per
Capita (district)
Incident per
Capita (county)
Incident per
Capita (state)
2003-04 0.80% 1.41% 1.46%
2004-05 1.12% 1.50% 1.32%
2005-06 1.08% 1.41% 1.35%
2006-07 1.31% 1.31% 1.34%
2007-08 1.13%

Obviously, any level of criminal conduct is too high but I don’t have an answer to reducing it. Many parents feel that kids should be allowed to rebel a little bit, from outlandish dress and hairstyles to the “harmless” joint. Coupled with the fact that some students come from unhealthy home environments, there’s sure to be some level of misconduct.

Still, I have to believe we can do a better of creating a safe environment for our children. >>> Read more!


Anonymous said...

Why did the former principal leave? Seemed to my husband and I that he was doing a good job.

Anonymous said...

Are these statistics from the HS only or both the HS & middle school?

Aberdeener said...

The statistics represent the total for the entire school district. The state does not provide breakdowns by school but you can see our district's breakdown in the latest board agenda.

Anonymous said...

Please stop. Our schools are just fine. They encounter typical stuff that most youths engage in.

Is there anything that can just be a positive? What utopia do we want?

But that is just my opinion and I thank you Aberdeener for the info.

I heard the former principal left because he was tired with arguing with a divided board. The REAL question is find out why Dave Healey was pushed out of the HS 2 years back. He was not good enough for MRHS and is now the Asst. Super in Middletown. That is the real sin because it was well known around town that the teachers loved him for HIS DISCIPLINE. But he rubbed SOMEONE the wrong way.... typical

Anonymous said...

The table lists Violence, Vandalism, Weapons and Substances, as simply stated these are "Criminal Occurrences", why would you call this typical behavior that most youth engage in?
I don't consider any of this typical behavior. Why don't you tell that to the parents who's kids had to pay a visit to the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Violence means fights.

Vandalism is marker on a wall.

Substance, though sad, is in most schools.

Weapons are a concern.

What I said was, our schools are quite safe, know many who attend our district, and Matawan/Ab. is a middle of the road typical district. I bet if you look at incidents in Holmdel, LB, Rumson, Red Bank, and Raritan you would find much of the same. THAT WAS MY POINT.

Please try to see some of the positives around here.

Anonymous said...

I agree, for the most part things are safe, but:
Violience also means landing one boy in the hospital, not due to a fight. And other less severe unprovoked attacks.
Vandalism means setting fire to the playgroung equipment and the middle school several years ago.

I'm not trying to be negative, but these have been occurences in this district.

My point is let's not pretend nothing ever occurs. As a parent, I would like to see the community address these concerns, and try to figure what we can do to prevent some of it. What I would NOT like to see, is the mob mentality and the finger pointing that goes on so often, blaming this side of town and that side of town.

Aberdeener said...

Not every incident is reported. What's the threshold?