Stroudsburg High School is one of 50 public schools in Pennsylvania listed as having the most incidents where a police officer was brought in last year.
Public school crime statistics are reported annually by the State Department of Education in its Safe Schools online report.
Officials at Stroudsburg High School see this as a good thing.
Superintendent Dr. Cosmos Curry of Stroudsburg Area School District says, "We’re proud of our schools, we have safe schools and if there’s anything to be said for this list, I think it should give parents solace to know that if there’s a problem we are following policies and procedures."
During the 2017-2018 school year, Stroudsburg High School had 44 incidents reported involving law enforcement. According to a recently published report that number was one of the 50 highest in the state. But the superintendent doesn't feel that statistic should be taken negatively.
Curry explains, "As a parent, I would at least look at it and say well good they’re doing something about it. Ok, we don’t want the problems but if there’s a problem, you deal with it. You can’t pretend it didn’t happen, brush it under the carpet. It’s part of transparency."
Stroudsburg has a school resource officer stationed at the high school and he's used to mitigate situations as part of building a positive relationship. Of the 44 incidents, only 18 resulted in arrests.
Curry says, "We’re not in this to just arrest kids, we’re in it to do a full investigation and based on the facts, make a decision. It builds trust with the rest of the school community because they’re saying hey we went to our principal and he took care of it."
The most reported crime was fighting with 16 occurrences. The superintendent says all of these statistics should be taken relatively because they also have one the highest populations in the state.
Curry adds, "I think it’s sporadic, I mean when you have 14 to 15 hundred students, things happen from time to time."
According to the schools data, the number of fights has been cut in half compared to the year before... but no matter what the number, the principal of the high school says getting a police officer involved shows they’re on top of things.
Stroudsburg High School Principal Jeff Sodl says, "The expectation of student behavior and parental behavior is high and because our students deserve a positive atmosphere, a great school culture and when that doesn't happen, we have no problem with utilizing law enforcement."
The number of repeat offenders has also gone down. In fact, it's rare they have the same problem with the same student more than once.
Sodl says, "We do call the law enforcement in for a number of reasons, not only to penalize students but also for positive things, to deter them in the future."
Stroudsburg Area School District doesn't plan on making any changes based on these statistics.