Following the statewide trend, schools in eastern Wake County saw an overall decrease in reported disciplinary offenses, according to data presented in the state’s Annual Report on School Crime and Violence.
In the 2012-2013 school year, schools in eastern Wake County – which include all non-charter public schools in Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon – reported a total of 121 incidents compared to 143 reported in the 2011-2012 school year.
The Annual Report on School Crime and Violence, created and published by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, uses self-reported data from schools.
Other schools, specifically the high schools in the area, saw an overall improvement.
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East Wake High School (which includes the schools of Health Sciences, Integrated Technology, Arts, Education and Global Studies and Engineering) reported 38 incidents this year compared to 62 the year before. Knightdale reported 19 incident in the 2012-2013 school year, down from 27 the year before.
In both schools, possession of a controlled substance made up most of those incidents. East Wake reported 24 and Knightdale reported 7.
That trend was statewide, the annual report said. There was a decrease of 221 offenses among high school students in the state, from 5,980 to 5,759.
Only one school in the area saw an increase of more than a few incidences.
Zebulon Middle School reported 15 total incidences in 2012-2013 compared to three incidences in 2011-2012.
The majority of Zebulon Middle’s offenses were possession of a controlled substance and possession of a weapon. The school reported six of each of those violations.
Parameters on report
Schools use definitions for offenses as defined by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. NCDPI gets its definitions almost directly from criminal statutes, said Ken Gattis, NCDPI’s senior research and evaluation coordinator.
Gattis who helps to create the report also presents it to the State Board of Education. One of the topics he covers that isn’t included in the report is suggestions as to why data has moved one way or another.
This year, Gattis said one program that appears to be helping across the state is the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
PBIS is encouraged by the state and is visible in schools in the form of acronyms that promote good behavior. At East Wake Middle School, for example, students use PRIDE, which stands for punctual, respect, integrity, determination and excellence.
PBIS works through positive reinforcement, meaning students are rewarded for good behavior.
Gattis said there may be other programs at schools that help, but PBIS was just one that the state could identify.
“You can’t say absolutely (which programs help), but the programs are in place,” he said.
Other non-criminal behavioral offenses, like fighting, Gattis said, are kept, but not reported with the Annual Report on School Crime.
Schools in eastern Wake County didn’t report any bomb threats, burning of a school building, deaths, kidnappings, incidences of possession of firearms, rapes, robberies with dangerous weapons, sexual assault or other sexual offenses or taking indecent liberties with a minor.