Districts must release public reports during the year detailing incidents of violence, vandalism, harassment, intimidation and bullying.
Mt. Laurel Schools has released the district’s latest Violence, Vandalism, Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Report for its latest reporting period.
Under state law, school districts are required to release various public reports each school year detailing the number of incidents of violence, vandalism, harassment, intimidation and bullying for six-month periods.
For the latest reporting period, Superintendent George Rafferty said there were 15 investigations into potential Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying incidents across the district, of which the district determined two as confirmed cases of HIB.
“Not all the reports that are reported meet the criteria for bullying, but that does not mean that other actions do not take place in regard to these incidents with students, whether that be disciplinary consequences or counseling and other services that are provided,” Rafferty said.
Rafferty said the district expects to have more reports than actual confirmed incidents.
“We want people to be comfortable and feel free to report all incidents so they can be looked at,” Rafferty said.
During the latest reporting period, Rafferty said the district also held 15 HIB-related trainings with staff members and administrators. The district also has 33 HIB-related programs that run throughout the district’s schools.
The full list of those programs is available on the district’s website at www.mtlaurelschools.org.
“Whether it’s an assembly or speaker or different initiative that the school runs — we also keep track of those during that period of time … programs that addressed and covered incidents of bullying and tried to really prevent future incidents by gaining awareness,” Rafferty said.
In addition to HIB-related incidents during the last reporting period, the district is also required to provide the public with information related to incidents of violence, vandalism, substance abuse or weapons offenses.
Rafferty said the district had zero incidents of weapons offenses, zero incidents of students bringing a substance to school or substance abuse discovered on school property, one incident of violence related to fight between students that resulted in an injury and one incident of vandalism related to some damage done to school property.
When looking at the size of the district and the number of students, Rafferty said although the district would like to see zero incidents in all categories, he was nonetheless encouraged to see rates are not increasing and they continue to be addressed.
Rafferty said the district usually reports on the next reporting from Jan. 1 through June 30 sometime in July.