Report: Law violations went up at four area school districts in 14-15
Published 10:54 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Four area school districts saw increases in law violations by students from the 2013-14 school year to 2014-15, according to data from a report released by the Center for School Safety in September. Three districts saw law violations go down.
The report analyzes law violations by students in Kentucky’s public schools. A majority of the 655,799 students enrolled did not have a reported law violation in the years analyzed.
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Four area districts saw violations go up:
• Casey: 29 violations from 24 violators in 14-15; 28 violations from 24 violators in 13-14;
• Danville: 21 violations from 21 violators in 14-15; 14 violations from 12 violators in 13-14;
• Garrard: 43 violations from 35 violators in 14-15; 38 violations from 36 violators in 13-14; and
• Lincoln: 71 violations from 55 violators in 14-15; 59 violations from 53 violators in 13-14.
Three districts saw fewer violations:
• Boyle: 23 violations from 20 violators in 14-15; 27 violations by 23 violators in 13-14;
• Burgin: six violations from five violators in 14-15; nine violations from seven violators in 13-14; and
• Mercer: 11 violations from 11 violators last year; 43 violations from 41 violators in 13-14.
Findings of the study for Kentucky as a whole include:
• Marijuana and hash use and possession was the number one violation, making up 23.17 percent of all violations.
• Third-degree assaults rose by 51.3 percent.
• The largest number of violations occurred among ninth graders and a total of 5,545 students committed 6,209 law violations.
The Kentucky Department of Education also collects data on the legal and code violations from students. There are eight behavior events that can be reported: first-degree assault; other assault or violence; weapons; harassment (includes bullying); drugs; alcohol; tobacco; and “resolutions not reported above,” which is a catch-all category for violations that are not counted in another category.
Such other violations could include incidents where students’ actions violate a school rule but not a state law, said Danville Police Officer Chase Broach, the school resource officer for Danville Schools. Violations in the other category could also be situations in which victims choose not to press charges, perhaps because they are satisfied with a school punishment but do not want to pursue legal action, Broach said.
The Kentucky Department of Education shows there were a total 6,209 law violations by students in Kentucky during the 14-15 school year.
A majority of lower-level incidents fell into the “resolutions not reported” category — 73,818 students involved in 215,112 incidents. Harassment was the most common specific behavior event, with 13,117 students involved in 18,709 incidents.
Law violations within the Boyle County School District went down from 2013-14 to 2014-15, according to the report. About 0.77 percent of Boyle County’s 2,586 students were involved in a law violation.
The Kentucky Department of Education lists the top two behavior events for Boyle as harassment — 38 students and 48 incidents — and “resolutions not reported above” — 56 students and 75 incidents.
Deputy Ricky Sellers has only been on the job of school resource officer for Boyle County a few months, but so far, he said he’s faced calls of terroristic threatening, harassment, fights and a few minor drug calls, which usually involve pills rather than other drugs.
“The school handles most issues internally if they can,” he said.
Most of the incidents occurred in grades eight through 11, with incidents peaking in 10th grade, according to the Kentucky Department of Education: 16 eighth-graders were involved in 21 incidents; 10 ninth-graders were involved in 22 incidents; 21 10th-graders were involved in 34 incidents; 16 11th-graders were involved in 19 events.
Danville saw law violations go up in 14-15, according to the report. A little more than 1 percent of Danville’s 1,807 students were involved in a law violation.
The top two behavior events were harassment — 35 students and 46 incidents — and “resolutions not reported above” — 281 students and 715 incidents.
Office Broach has been the district’s school resource officer for about six years. He said a lot of the issues students have, such as harassment, stem from cell phone usage. Connected to the phones are issues of harassment via texting and social media; violations of law, such as texting inappropriate photos; and more.
“A cell phone has become such a way of life and it captures so much of life,” he said.
This leads to problems for the students, he said.
48 sixth-graders had 148 incidents; 53 seventh-graders had 157 incidents; and 41 eighth-graders had 113 incidents.
Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.
SO YOU KNOW:
Find out more information on the Kentucky Center for School Safety website at http://bit.ly/2dXw86I.
Visit the Kentucky Department of Education website at openhouse.education.ky.gov/ to learn more about various school reports. Safety information is under the learning environment tab.