N.J. schools report: Violence down, drug abuse up


By Rita Giordano
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
School violence saw a 5 percent decline around the state, but substance abuse rose, according to an annual report released today.
State Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy credited the decline in school violence to the state’s anti-violence programs.

The 4 percent increase in substance abuse incidents she blamed in part on abuse of prescription drugs, which she said children have increased access to.

“It’s something we certainly will be focusing on going forward,” Davy said yesterday.

The drugs most frequently found to be abused in the school setting, however, remained marijuana, with alcohol running second. School alcohol abuse, however, has been on the decline in the state over the last three years for which statistics are available, according to the report.

The report provides data on incidents of violence, vandalism, weapons and substance abuse in the New Jersey public schools. It is required by the Legislature and includes data reported by the schools. Full story.

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