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Ocean Township Schools Respond To Five Bullying Incidents In 2014

OCEAN TWP: Ocean Township Schools have five reported incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying from January through June this year, in what new Superintendent James Stefankiewicz said was an accomplishment with so few reports.

The HIB reports are required reporting for the state Department of Education, and must itemize what transpired and how it was addressed, and break down the number by each school. Ocean Township School District is comprised of Ocean Township Elementary, Wanamassa Elementary, Wayside Elementary, Ocean Township Intermediate and Ocean Township High schools.

“That there were five incidents total, which is a small number for one school as opposed to a district, and three at the intermediate level, seems that we are successful,” said the superintendent, but that “regardless of the number, each incident is taken seriously.”

Here’s where the incidents occurred: zero at Ocean Township Elementary and Wanamassa; one at Wayside; three at the intermediate; one at the high school.

The report goes into detail about the nature of the incident, such as whether the victim was bullied on the basis of gender, race and other characteristics.

The superintendent said that often one incident is listed in several categories, for example if bullying targets both a gender and sexual orientation both verbally and written.

To that end, there were three examples of verbal bullying, two of gesture, one written and one electronic.

There were no examples of race, religion, color, ancestry, origin, gender expression, or disability in the district. But there were one incident classified for gender, three for sexual orientation, and three classified for other distinguishing characteristics. In two of the incidents, the incident interfered with the victim’s education.

HIB reports must itemize how the school responded to the victims and what action it took to the offenders.

Stefankiewicz said that the incidents often result in more than one type of action, for example a student victim may receive counseling and school transportation supervision based on one incident. Similarly, a student offender may receive suspension of privileges as well as detention for a single incident.

The three intermediate school incidents resulted in four counseling services, one parent conference and two school transportation supervision for the respective student victims. Student offenders at the intermediate school received one suspension of privileges, one in-school suspensions, and three out-of-school suspensions and one detention.

The Wayside Elementary incident resulted in one detention for the student offender and no action for the student victim transpired, according to the HIB report.

The high school incident resulted in one out of school suspension for the student offender, and one counseling, support service and parent conference for the student victim.

The complete report is available on the state Department of Education web site.


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