Red Bank Regional officials reported a drop in student substance abuse incidents in 2011 from the previous year, but an overall increase since 2007.
The high school's annual Violence and Vandalism Report, which was presented by Assistant Principal Robert Donohoe at the Oct. 17 board of education meeting, showed that reported incidents dropped from 21 in 2010 to 17 in 2011. That number is an increase from the 11 substance abuse incidents reported in 2007.
(You can access Donohoe's full report alongside this article.)
The school's recent focus on intervention and helping teachers identify students with substance abuse issues might be one of the reasons numbers of reports have risen, according to School Superintendent Jim Stefankiewicz. He added that the numbers are still small considering that the school's student population is around 1,200.
Prinicpal Risa Clay said that numbers could include more than one incident involving the same student.
Incidents of violence were reported down from 17 in 2010 to 6 in 2011; however, this represents the same levels as the prior year since events previously categorized as Violence are now reported under the new Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) category. That category listed 11 incidents; exactly the difference from 2012 to 2011. The categories of vandalism and weapons were stagnant for the past five years, and negligible at two for each category.
Other reported information not required by the state but reported to the RBR board included “suspensions” and “total number of cuts.” The district instituted a Saturday detention program last year to try to mitigate a high number of late incidents many repeated by the same students. While that policy appeared effective in dramatically reducing the lateness rate, the district experienced a rise in in-school suspensions with 35 percent of those resulting from students receiving detention for cutting their Saturday detentions.Category 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Violence 18 12 13 17 6 Vandalism 1 2 3 2 2 Weapons 2 1 1 1 2 Substance 11 11 9 21 17 HIB (for 2011 only) 11*
*Confirmed from 65 investigated.