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11 Bullying Incidents Reported in Schools

Record 'pretty clean' for a large district, superintendent says.

The school district recorded 11 incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, Superintendent Charles Maranzano told the school board at its most recent meeting.

Under a new state law, school districts must report the number of times personnel investigated reports of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The rules were put in place last year following a student’s lawsuit against the Toms River school district, Maranzano said.

A school must investigate alleged incidents between students that involve gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, physical appearance or ancestry, he said.

Maranzano said these are not incidents that involve students violating the district code of conduct, but are those that meet the specific criteria stated in the new law.

“For a large district, our track record is pretty clean,” he said.

The high school had four reported incidents, three of which qualified as “HIB” offenses. The middle school reported six incidents, two of which qualified.

Durbin Avenue School reported one incident which did not meet the criteria, while Tulsa Trail and Hudson Maxim schools reported no such incidents.

Maranzano said the incidents mostly included comments about nationality.

The district's 2012 HIB report shows there were a total of 44 reported incidents, 19 of which were confirmed.

Judi/Don Wolff February 04, 2013 at 11:49 AM
No bad for a large district personally I think one is to much.
Judi/Don Wolff February 04, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I didn't mean no bad I meant not bad LOL
Nucky Thompson February 04, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Eleven is eleven too many.
Willa Scantlebury February 04, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Mr. Daigle, next time please headline a story like this with something positive like, "Pretty clean" track record for Hopatcong school's bullying reports. You could have easily swapped the headline and subhead. People often won't get past the headlines and will then take it the wrong way. The Hopatcong School System needs to be recognized for the great things it has accomplished and the press needs to stop bullying it with negative press!
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) February 04, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Thanks for the comments, everyone. @Willa - Mike Daigle reported on the story, but I'm the one who wrote the headline. The reason I phrased it this way is because the point of the story is to explain how many HIB violations were recorded; a report now made public - by law - in every New Jersey school district. Maranzano's comment regarding the number was secondary. At this time, myself and editor Russ Crespolini will be overseeing this site. If you have any questions or comments you'd like to send to us directly, just click on our names at the top of the page. Thanks!
proactive bystander February 04, 2013 at 07:54 PM
I think the headline was pretty neutral, it just stated a fact. Hopatcong is not a large district compared to others in the county. These numbers are too high, we are talking over a five month period. And these are only the reported cases, there are many others that occur that the kids are too scared to report, especially when they don't think they will get any results.
Willa Scantlebury February 04, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Jason, thanks for the heads-up. I was at the BOE meeting where the new law was discussed. Again, it would just be nice - for a change - to have some positive aspects of the school written about!
onetiredmomma February 04, 2013 at 09:56 PM
What about when the staff intimidates the student(s) who do you report that to?
Observer February 04, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Actually, for a K-12 district, Hopatcong might be considered small to medium. With enrollment declining, the result of factors such as the economy, school reputation/ranking, school choice options, etc., it will certainly become a small K-12 district shortly. The report seems fair and unbiased. Sometimes the facts are not what one wants to read and sometimes the truth hurts.
Rich Smith February 04, 2013 at 11:36 PM
The severity of the incident and how it was addressed by school staff and parents is more important that the numbers. I am not familiar with the procedures in place but any incident should be reported to the offending student’s home and the parents along with school staff should act accordingly. The bullying that is not reported can be the most harmful as it can continue to cause harm to the victim(s). Vigilance is the only defense on this count and I hope our school staff is on constant watch.
jazzman February 05, 2013 at 02:43 PM
what about the 25 (44-19) who reported a violation,which to them was bullying later determined by higher-ups to be unfounded.a procedure in place just might need to be more education with at least a first strikes,if the reporting system fails to correct these problems with exstream urgency then the failure will be some will not report
John Smith February 10, 2013 at 10:18 PM
How about when Niel P or Terrie S BULLY someone who do you report that to.
Team Dawg February 15, 2013 at 11:55 PM
As children's book authors and character education workshop presenters, we at Team Dawg realize the importance of dialogue on this subject. The issue of bullying is complicated but we all agree the time for action is now. While there may not be one perfect solution, doing nothing while we decide is not an option. The culture our children live in needs to change. We need to teach them to trust, to communicate, to respect and have compassion. We also need to give them the confidence to know that they too can make a difference.
Bob May 25, 2013 at 01:10 PM
The bullying in the Hopatcong school system of 55 years ago was mainly from the teachers, and an ex-army captain of a principal named David O'Grady.

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