You know you live on a state border when there's lots of school-aged children in the streets but the term hasn't finished in your town.
Albury students didn't have to get up for classes this morning but their Wodonga counterparts have enjoyed that feeling for a week already.
At the end of the school term, however, came news of a troubling trend - the number of incidents reported by Albury principals to the NSW Education Department has increased for the fourth consecutive year.
Schools are required to inform the department of any incident involving drugs, technology, violence, weapons and welfare.
In 2018, the Albury Principal Network told the department about 55 incidents, 24 of which involved violence.
Although only a slight rise from the previous year's figures, this result is quite a leap from the 30 incidents reported in 2015.
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How concerned should we be?
It must be noted, as the department has been quick to do, thousands of Albury students and teachers attend their schools safely each day.
And a few incidents involved children being approached by strangers on their way to school, so in these cases the youngsters should be commended for speaking up.
But sometimes the young people themselves are described as "extremely agitated", "extremely aggressive" or "highly agitated" as they lash out at those around them.
Several online comments in response to Saturday's article urged a return to physical punishments like the strap or "a good old-fashioned caning".
Such sentiments are perhaps predictable, but ultimately unhelpful - violence is never the answer and if we condemn it when adults hurt adults, we must also not allow adults to hurt children.
But equally everyone deserves the chance to learn in a safe environment and principals and teachers must be supported as they deal with students who make this difficult, if not impossible.
The role of parents, of course, can't be underestimated, but as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child and we all need to make time to guide the young people around us.
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