Report shows number of cases 'significantly lower’

A state-required Unsafe School report made public Tuesday showed that Richmond County schools had far fewer student misconduct cases labeled as dangerous in the 2009-10 school year.


"Of special note, the number of cases reported for misconduct are significantly lower than in previous years, which is most positive," says a memo that school board attorney Pete Fletcher released Tuesday along with the report's systemwide and individual school findings.

The countywide report of Richmond County middle and high schools listed 77 total offenses for the school system in 2009-10 - 39 fewer than 2008-09 and 59 fewer than in 2007-08.

The same report, though, showed that two Richmond County schools - the Academy of Richmond County and Davidson Fine Arts Magnet - were placed on a first-year notice by the state as a result of incidents in a more serious crimes category.

ARC's case involved an aggravated battery charge in which a student was cut severely in the face and neck by another student. Davidson's case involved two counts of aggravated child molestation after separate incidents in which minor students had oral sex, according to Fletcher's memo.

The schools would be placed on the state's Persistently Dangerous School list if, in the next two consecutive years, they have similar violations or if more than 2 percent of their students commit offenses in a less serious category, Fletcher said.

Once a school is placed on the Persistently Dangerous School list, its students are given the option of transferring to public schools deemed safe in the same district.

No Richmond County schools are currently on the Per­sistently Dangerous list, state Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said.

Systemwide in 2009-10, Richmond County schools had 39 non felony drug cases, compared to 55 the previous year. Felony drug cases also dropped from 10 in the 2008-09 school year to seven in 2009-10.

Terroristic threat cases decreased from 28 in 2008-09 to four in 2009-10.

Felony weapons cases showed a slight increase, with 24 in 2009-10 - a jump of one from the previous year.

There also was the one case of aggravated battery reported this past school year, compared to none the previous year, and the two aggravated child molestation offenses this year, compared to none in 2008-09.

ARC had the most offenses - 10, including one aggravated battery, five non felony drug cases and four felony weapons incidents. Westside High had nine offenses: five for non felony drugs, one felony drug case, two felony weapons incidents and one terroristic threat.

Glenn Hills Middle and A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet were the only schools with no offenses .

For A.R. Johnson, it was the third year in a row . Glenn Hills Middle had one offense in 2008-09 and six in 2007-08.

School offenses

Offenses listed for Richmond County schools:

Aggravated battery100
Aggravated child molestation200
Non felony drugs395556
Felony drugs7107
Felony weapons242339
Terroristic threats42834

Sources: Georgia Department of Education, Richmond County school board attorney Pete Fletcher's office




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