Disciplinary incidents have severely decreased in Freehold Borough schools since last year.
At the Monday night Freehold Borough Board of Education (BOE) meeting, a recap for report period one was given by Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth O’Connell. Report period one runs from July 1 until Dec. 31. During that time, all incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) are required to be recorded and discussed.
Report period one for 2011 was the first time the school district was required to announce the reports under a new format.
According to O’Connell, during report period one for 2011, there were 26 investigations of HIB and 10 of those incidents were confirmed to be acts of HIB. On Monday night, O’Connell noted that during report period one for 2012 there were only nine investigations and two were confirmed acts of HIB.
In addition to reporting incidents that took place during report period one, O’Connell discussed the number of investigations and confirmed accounts of HIB that have taken place in schools since the previous BOE meeting.
“For tonight, there were two investigations conducted since the last board of education meeting, one was at the Park Avenue Elementary School consisting of threatening comments, gestures or physical acts. That was determined not to be an act of HIB. Students were counseled on how to play in a safe manner and parents were contacted,” said O’Connell. “A second investigation was conducted at the Freehold Intermediate School consisting of demeaning comments and intimidating conduct towards another pupil and publicly humiliating a pupil. The school counselor discussed the meaning of empathy, ways to solve problems, express feelings and opinions in a positive manner and how to speak respectively. This was also determined not to be an act of HIB.”
After discussing the two investigations, O’Connell noted that sometimes these incidents are just the result of a conversation that gets out of hand. However, regardless of how the situation comes about, every report is taken seriously and is properly discussed with the necessary parties.
The complete Freehold Borough Schools HIB policy can be seen on the district’s website.