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Schilder: 27 Cases of Bullying Confirmed Through December

The board of education hears the district's violence and vandalism report.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder reported Tuesday that there have been a total of 27 confirmed cases of harassment, intimidation and bullying throughout the district as of the end of December.

Schilder gave his required report, in accordance with the new law that requires districts to report on violence and vandalism two times during the school year.

This report, Schilder said, accounts for incidents from September to December 2011, and a second report will be given in for the remainder of the school year.

“Since the law has changed, we are required to give a report twice a year,” he said.

Over the course of the year thus far, Schilder said, there have been 87 investigations into harassment and bullying, with counselors in the individual schools holding investigations into reports of bullying in each of the schools. Of the investigations, he said, only 27 are being reported as confirmed cases in accordance with state law.

“Our most recent data as of today is that there have now been 30 confirmed,” he said, although the data in the report ends with Dec. 31, 2011.

Schilder praised the work of the anti-bullying specialists in the individual schools, citing that they are in charge of handling the investigations into the reports.

“They are doing a fantastic job, and they are being so diligent,” he said. “This pulls time away from other counseling responsibilities, but the investigations are thorough and reports are thorough.”

As for incidents of violence and vandalism, Schilder said there were actually more cases of assault in the kindergarten through sixth grades than in the high school, with a total of 10 in the former and two in the latter. But, he said, most were based on one issue.

“We had an issue at one school with a student who is classified as autistic, and his behavior was a result of his disability,” he said. “We have since adjusted his program and he is doing better.”

“But that had to be reported as assault, so the number somewhat reflects the child’s issues,” he added.

According to the report, there were a total of 45 incidents of violence throughout the district, with a criminal threat at the high school and five fights, in addition to the assault cases and confirmed incidents of harassment and bullying.

Schilder also noted that there were two cases of substance abuse in the high school for the use of marijuana.

Finally, Schilder said, there were two incidents in the district—one in the high school, one in the middle school—of possession of a weapon, but the weapons were not used to threaten or hurt anyone.

“One was a Swiss Army knife, and one was a multi-tool with a blade,” he said. “They were not used to threaten anyone, but they were brought in to the schools and they had to be treated as weapons."

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