Letter: Schools reporting violence

If the changes that won unanimous Board of If the changes that won unanimous Board of Regents approval Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, win final approval from the Regents in January as scheduled, they would first take effect with teenagers who entered ninth grade in 2011 and are due to graduate in June 2015. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

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As long as school administrators continue to be the responsible agents for reporting school violence in their buildings, misleading and false reporting will be prevalent ["Defining school violence," News, Feb. 26].

I agree that the terminology on the state reporting form is not an accurate depiction of what actually happens. Crimes such as menacing and assaults are difficult to describe for even seasoned police officers.

The school violence form needs to be changed to make the sections more reflective of the "violent" acts committed. Additionally, the forms should be the responsibility of experienced security or law enforcement professionals not associated with any particular school. All too often, schools underreport violence for fear of public relations problems, and possible loss of funding. Using a professional outside agency would allow for a more accurate presentation of school violence.

Jim Kiernan, Holbrook

Editor's note: The writer is an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Briarcliffe College, former president of the Sachem school board and past director of school safety for the William Floyd school district.

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