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District Confirms 14 Acts Of Bullying In Mahwah Schools Last Year

See a breakdown of bullying investigations at each school in the district

During the 2011-2012 school year, there were 14 acts of bullying in Mahwah schools, according to a report given by Interim Superintendent Dr. Karen Lake last month on the statistics from last year’s HIB, Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying, statistics.

The report was part of the state-mandated Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying policy, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"interim-says-anti-bullying-superintendent-search-top-districts-priorities"} -->, which was

Mahwah Dad September 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM
It would be interesting to see how these numbers compare to other schools in Bergen County and statewide as well. 50 allegations represents 1.5% of Mahwah kids in schools (not necessarily 50 different kids) reporting harrassment, intimidation or bullying. Is that an exception or typical for other districts? Also is 28% (14 of 50) the norm for the percentage that turn out to be true instances? If the Patch has comp data it would be good to see how Mahwah looks compared to other districts.
T.S. September 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM
The system is created to encourage schools to disclaim reports so they are not confirmed as actual incidents. It's a shame that this has become politicized. I highly doubt that 50 kids reported incidents and 14 are actually true. I went to grammar school once and from common sense I know it's higher. Instead of having one general classification, they should have levels. It's not a one size fits all type of classification. There are minor cases of bullying and more serious ones, but they all are certainly bullying. Nobody is going to jail here. We are trying to stop a gross injustice. You can't do it by following the status quo. Innocent until proven guilty should not be the standard, like it is now. It should be more like a civil matter, preponderance of evidence.
Andy Schmidt September 19, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Hi T.S. - I attended a few presentations by the principal and staff of Ramapo Ridge at various occasions after the new anti-bullying legislation was put in place and I got the complete opposite impression. It formalized a lot of procedures, including record-keeping, notifications, time-to-act, who are the decision makers, how is a decision rendered, etc that previously may have been handled quite reasonably by most districts - but ultimately were depending how serious a particular school or even staff member viewed bullying. It also defined the term "bullying and intimidation" more precisely, covering additonal scenarios that previously may have not been considered! Although it required additional training and familiarization for them, they actually seemed to embrace it as something that was meaningful and had a good purpose - to the point that they were not looking to drop those formal procedures even when the law was being challenged for political reasons. I got the impression that before incidents could have been handled "off the cuff" by some schools/districts/administrators - while now they had to be given proper attention and the outcome was more consistent and predictable across the board.
Erik Endress September 19, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Mahwah Dad, these numbers are very low compared to districts statewide. Keep in mind that these numbers are for the entire school year, in year one of the changes to the HIB law. Many of the situations that are now being reported occurred before and were likely not documented. The changes to the law were about ensuring that any and all claims were reported and investigated.
Olga S. January 16, 2013 at 03:40 PM
I don't think these numbers are wholly accurate. Think of the kids who don't file a HIB report because they fear the repercussions from their peers, fear of being even further ostracized.

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