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This week's safe schools snippets

New York City: Five students arrested a day, police data show

City school safety agents and police officers arrested an average of five public school students a day last fall, according to new data released by the New York Police Department.

The arrest numbers represent a significant increase over those released in November, covering the third-quarter period when few students were around during summer break and a fraction attended summer school.

During that period, school safety agents and officers, both part of the city Police Department, arrested 63 students and issued 182 summonses. But those figures swelled during the 55 school days between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, when 279 students were arrested and 532 were given summonses. Read more from The New York Times.

Report: Crime at U.S. public schools on the decline

MIAMI (AP) — Violent crime at the nation’s schools is declining, and students and schools are reporting less bullying and gang activity.

But new government data reports an increase in cyber bullying and youth suicides.

“Cyber bullying issue has really moved to center stage and that’s probably the next major challenge that school officials and others will have to address,” said Ron Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center, a nonprofit advocacy organization. Read more from the Associated Press.

Gun safety program taught to elementary school students

CASTLE ROCK – Brandon Lee knew he had to do something when his young children reached the age where they became curious about guns. While guns are not present in their home, he knew they were in the homes of families where his children play. He wanted his kids to know what to do if they ever came in contact with a gun.

When two young children in Colorado were accidently killed by guns in the last three months, Lee decided to take his idea of a gun safety program to his children’s school, Academy Charter School in Castle Rock. Read more from

Bullying takes center stage in school’s one-act play

The work by the beloved Stafford County drama teacher includes inspiration from his experiences with bullying—and the more modern experiences of about 20 Mountain View High School students.

A cast and crew of nearly 30 performed “Blow by Blow: A Modern Morality Play” yesterday for Mountain View students, presenting 35 minutes of scenes encompassing old-school bullying, such as name-calling, and high-tech taunting via the Internet. Read more from the news room.

Bullying not a rite of passage

NEW BRUNSWICK — For adults who were bullied as children, it’s a memory that seems to last forever. The look, the words, the tears, the torment, the solitude.

For some children, the pain at the hands of their torturers is so incapacitating that they are pushed to commit horrible acts – either on themselves on upon others.

Bullying was once considered a rite of childhood. Now that the long-term effects of bullying are becoming better known, schools are now being proactive in addressing the rite that wrongs thousands of students each year. Read more from the Cape May County Herald.

Anti-bully teens call on Lady Gaga, Obama to help

SAN FRANCISCO – Jonah Mowry, the Serrano Intermediate School student whose anti-bullying YouTube video drew attention from Lady Gaga and other celebrities in December, on Monday talked about cutting himself and attempting suicide during the kick-off of a teen-led national anti-bullying campaign.

“I thought about suicide many times and I thought about it by cutting my wrists and taking pills,” the 14-year-old from Lake Forest told a crowd gathered at the steps of the San Francisco City Hall. He talked about how many bullied kids had committed suicide and the devastating effects it has on thousands. Read more from The Orange County Registrar.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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