Statistics paint unrealistic picture of school | RecordCourier.com

Statistics paint unrealistic picture of school

Michael Schneider

Carson Valley Middle School principal Roger Gerson said that despite a recently statistics identifying his school with the highest incidents of violence against students and distribution of controlled substances in the district, CVMS students are actually no more of a problem than those in other schools.

“Ninety percent are people arguing over a pencil, that’s the level of it – minor disagreements between students. ‘He said she said’ kinds of things,” said Gerson of the 84 reported instances of violence against students at CVMS.

The figure makes up nearly one half of the 204 reported instances of violence against students in the district’s secondary schools in 1995-96.

“We record everything by the book. Some of it might just be pushing and shoving and not a real fight.

“We’re not worse, we just report it differently.”

Gerson said, regarding the 18 instances of distribution of controlled substances at CVMS, there were a couple of events that involved numerous students.

“If a student is in a circle passing a joint, then they get reported regardless of if they smoke it or just pass it,” he said.

Gerson estimates that if the county’s high schools reported these incidents the way that his school does, then there would be more instances at the high schools due to their age level and the number of students.

“There are not as many offenders (at CVMS),” said Gerson. “We just catch more for some reason.”

Gerson said kids at CVMS don’t want drugs or violence at their school.

“Most of the kids would behave properly with or without the rules,” said Gerson. “Most kids know common sense.

“Most of our leads come from student informants,” said Gerson. “Kids don’t want it (drugs) here.”

The principal said some of the CVMS staff have taken instruction from representatives in the sheriff’s office on recognizing problems of drug use as well as identifying possible users.

“Several of our staff members are drug recognition experts,” said Gerson. “Well, they’re not really experts, but they do know what to look for.

“The risk is high here because we’re looking for it.”

Gerson also said the “84-student” number for violence against students is inflated because it involves several of the same students as many as three or four times. He also pointed out the fact that while the violence involves maybe 35 students, on the average, CVMS has 235 students on the honor roll each quarter.

“It’s a small group of students who cause problems,” said Gerson. “Very few bring drugs to school. A larger number experiment on the weekends but they have too much to lose at school.

“In general, there’s a very positive attitude in Douglas County schools,” Gerson said.