EDISON - The state's Department of Education has released a reporting examining violence and drug use in New Jersey schools.
The study was conducted during the 2008-2009 school year. It states that there were 550 fewer fights in New Jersey schools, a decline of 12 percent. There were also 200 fewer assaults and a 48-percent decrease in gang violence, according to the report.
The report found incidents involving weapons declined 22 percent and incidents involving fake hand guns and knives were down as well.
As far as substance abuse, the report says that marijuana possession was up 9 percent and teen alcohol use was up 14 percent. Prescription drug use and over-the-counter drug use also jumped, according to the report. No school was identified as "persistently dangerous" in the report under the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.