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NJ finds school violence, bullying declines



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s state Department of Education says there were fewer cases of violence, vandalism and drug use in schools last year.

The state says part of the 19 percent drop in harassment, intimidation and bullying is due to schools being more circumspect about what they report rather than changes in the way students behave.

But the department says that a tough new anti-bullying law that went into effect last year was also a factor in the decrease.

There were more than 21,000 reported incidents of bullying, harassment and intimidation. Much of the bullying involved students in fifth through eighth grades.

Violence, vandalism, weapons and drug use were each down between 4 percent and 9 percent compared with the 2011-12 school year.