Although drugs remained a problem at Naugatuck High School in the most recent school year, state reports show drug-related incidents have dropped since 2008-09, and the principal insists that the school’s approach to misconduct is working. Eighteen Naugatuck High School students were arrested and charged with juvenile offenses related to selling drugs, possession of a weapon, and physical assault during the 2011-12 school year. Drugs continue to be a concern at the high school. “Mostly, the arrests are for drugs,” said Janice Saam, principal of NHS. Data collected by the Connecticut Department of Education shows that over the past three years (2008-2011), drug incidents have declined, while the numbers of assaults and possession of weapons’ cases have increased slightly.
Connecticut’s 2010 Raise the Age law, which shifted 16-year-old offenders from adult court to juvenile court, has helped to reduce the recidivism rates among juveniles by 7 percentage points, according to data provided by the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance (CTJJA). Recent reports show that more than 83 percent of 16-year-olds completed probation without re-arrest since the law took effect Jan. 1, 2010. Supporters of the law say that while the change has cost the state millions of dollars upfront, it will save money in the long-term by reducing re-arrests and the associated social costs. That reduction in recidivism is a major goal of a second Raise the Age law that took effect in July, which will treat 17-year-old offenders as juveniles.
When Drew Bradley dove for a loose basketball in a summer league game in June, a teammate accidentally kneed him in the side of the head. Bradley, 16, a junior at East Lyme High School, was diagnosed with a concussion. He said he had a bad headache and blurred vision for nearly two weeks after the collision. He also had nausea and difficulty concentrating because of the injury. He was not surprised to learn that nationally, there was a 10 percent increase in basketball injuries among teenaged boys between 2007 and 2010, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
C-HIT runs summer workshops for high school students interested in investigative journalism, in partnership with Quinnipiac University and the University of Connecticut. The one-week workshops are made possible by generous support from the Dow Jones News Fund and the Fisher Foundation. The stories on this site were all produced by high school students attending the 2012 workshops, who researched topics, conducted interviews and wrote the articles.For information on C-HIT’s 2013 summer camp program contact Lynne DeLucia at firstname.lastname@example.org.