20 Aug 2014
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UPDATED: Wayne Valley Student Accused of Punching Cop

17-year-old charged with aggravated assault following Tuesday incident at school.

UPDATED: Wayne Valley Student Accused of Punching Cop

Editor's note: Superintendent of Schools Ray Gonzalez issued a statement Thursday morning regarding the incident reported in this article. The statement has been added to the article.

A 17-year-old Waye Valley High School student was charged with assaulting a police officer after he allegedly punched Det. Michael Zaccone in the chest Tuesday afternoon, according to NorthJersey.com.

The student was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and released to his parents, the website reported.

Zaccone is the school resource officer (SRO) at . Officer Mark Dubois is the school resource officer at .

As SROs, Zaccone and Dubois work with and mentor students. They help students resolve conflicts and encourage them to be leaders in the community, the Wayne Police Department's website states. They educate students about crime prevention and how to resist using drugs and alcohol. They also work to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff at school functions and extracurricular activities.

This year marks the first time freshmen are exposed to SROs. Each middle school used to have an SRO, but due to budget constraints, they were eliminated from the middle schools three years ago.

“It’s a positive program. We are here to mentor kids about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and everything they’ve been bombarded with since they were exposed to the D.A.R.E. program in fifth grade,” Zaccone told Patch last week. “We want to be looked at as an extension of the community. We’re here to ensure they enjoy the best four yeas of their lives.”

Superintendent of Schools Ray Gonzalez issued a statement Thursday morning regarding the incident.

"While we will not offer specific comment on matters related to students or staff, I can say unequivocally that safety is a top priority," Gonzalez said. "Wayne Township Public Schools implements and vigorously enforces all safety protocols, and our school resource officers work diligently to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and visitors."

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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