Cinnaminson Schools Safer, Reports Say
Violence, vandalism and bullying are all down from last year, according to state reports.
Cinnaminson schools are safer for students, with incidents of violence, vandalism and bullying dropping across the board from last year.
According to the district's Violence and Vandalism Report, the number of incidents of violence dropped from 26 in the first half of the 2011-12 school year to 13 in the first half of the 2012-13 year. While there were three instances of vandalism, eight of substance abuse and one weapons incident in the 2011-12 report, there were none in the 2012-13 report.
Additionally, the Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB) Report filed by the district contained a total of nine incidents for the first half of 2012-13, compared to 21 in the report filed in the first half of 2011-12.
Superintendent Salvatore Illuzzi explained that initially, right after the HIB policy was adopted in August 2011, the district was "overwhelmed" by reports—every one of which had to be investigated.
"I think everybody was testing it. And then there was the work to first investigate, then verify, then send the respective correspondence," he said. "Students and parents and faculty, after going through that first introductory period, folks know we're serious about enforcing the policy."
A few other highlights from the reports:
- The large majority of Violence and Vandalism incidents occurred at Cinnaminson Middle School (11), with only one each at the high school and New Albany Elementary. There were no reported incidents at Rush Intermediate School.
- The middle school also had the highest concentration of HIB incidents (7), with two occurring at the high school.
- The factors involved in the HIB incidents included race, gender and sexual orientation (one incident each), with the vast majority categorized as "other distinguishing characteristics".
- None of the HIB incidents were of a physical nature. All nine were verbal in nature, with four also involving gestures.
- The disciplinary actions taken as a result of the HIB incidents included two in-school suspensions, one out-of-school suspension and four detentions.
In other school news, Illuzzi said the board of education was still considering Cinnaminson Police Director Mickey King's proposal to install a school resource officer.
According to the superintendent, the district is weighing its options—enhanced security measures vs. added police protection—before it makes a commitment.
"The board is not under a gun to make a decision by any means," said Illuzzi. "But I think they will get there quickly."