BY ISABEL EVERTT
The number of violent incidents in schools across the Hunter and NSW has almost doubled in the space of 12 months prompting concern from parents and community groups.
While there were 1281 violent incidents in 2018, this number leapt to 2146 throughout 2019, despite incidents of drug use remaining stable.
Almost 60 incidents involving assault were recorded at schools across Lake Macquarie in 2019.
One incident in Lake Macquarie East saw police contacted after a student ran across the playground and hit another student during an unprovoked attack, causing bruising.
More than 30 incidents of assault were also reported at Maitland schools in a single year, 26 in Port Stephens schools, and another 17 in the Newcastle school network.
The Department of Education said the majority of weapon incidents involved children who did not know that an item was prohibited, and that data showed schools were still among the safest places in the community.