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Behavior problems rise slightly after Sept. 11

POULSBO — It doesn’t necessarily show up in progress reports or disciplinary actions.

But in the hallways and classrooms of the North Kitsap School District, administrators have noticed a change in students after the attacks of Sept. 11.

The change was discussed at a recent North Kitsap Violence Intervention and Prevention Project meeting, where members, composed of NKSD educators, administrators, and security officials, discussed higher levels of student misbehavior.

Cindy Simonsen, the principal of Kingston Junior High who is a NKVIPP member, says the change is not dramatic, but is noticeable all the same.

“Junior high kids are hyper anyway,” she said. “But if you add another level to it, that’s what we have.”

Simonsen said that behavior problems increased some after Sept. 11, although not dramatically: “It’s not anything you can put your finger on,” she said.

Simonsen said the attacks affected everyone, and kids are no different.

“The kids are a little more hyper,” she said, ‘but some adults are like that, too ... adults do their things, and kids act more like kids.”

She said, “Some of the seventh graders are acting like sixth graders, the eighth grades are acting like seventh graders ... that kind of thing.”

The change was noted by other NKVIPP members, including Nick Hoke, the School Resource Officer at North Kitsap High School.

Hoke, a member of the Poulsbo Police Force, said, “There’s more kids pushing and shoving each other in the hallways and doing inappropriate behavior.”

Hoke said that the students’ reaction to the events of Sept. 11 haven’t been dramatic or obvious, but instead have been more subtle.

“It’s just something in the subconscious of the kids that has stirred them up a bit. I don’t even know if they could articulate it,” he said.

Administrators at each school reacted in different ways to the Sept. 11 attacks, but they all rushed to provide information and comfort to the students, from the youngest to the oldest.

In a mid-Sept. meeting of counselors from across the district, they cautioned that students could react in a variety of different ways to the attack. Some students could grow more quiet, while others could become more boisterous, they said.

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