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N.J. High School Adopts 'No Homework For Holidays' Policy

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBS 2) -- Homework during the winter recess, many school districts assign it. But one New Jersey high school that has been plagued by a series of tragedies wants to give students a break during break.

Is it a good idea?

It has been a stressful year for students at Ridgewood High School. Former student Tyler Clementi committed suicide while attending Rutgers University and another student took her own life.

So faculty members are trying out a pilot program to help kids relieve stress. They won't be assigning homework during winter break.

"I'm glad they decided it because a lot of people are just pulling all-nighters, consistently trying to complete homework," sophomore Michael Nehring told CBS 2's Christine Sloan.

"I really think it's the stress and everything and I know teenagers in general, high schoolers aren't getting enough sleep," sophomore Steven Chiesa said.

The superintendent said the district got the idea from an educational film.

In neighboring Paramus students said some teachers are giving homework, while others are not.

One student said she could use a break during break.

"You just kind of need time to relax and re-collect yourself," she said.

But other students said they aren't too sure.

"For the AP classes, not such a hot idea because the AP standards don't change. You have to take the test in May. You have to keep working during break," Amanda Kabbabi said.

Several psychologists and a former teacher told Sloan kids need stress-free time during their vacations.

"Let them enjoy themselves. They have long-term projects. They just started them a week ago and we'll finish in a week after the holidays are over. No harm," former teacher Jackie Price said.

"It's a great idea. Give kids a break during the holidays. Everyone has too much pressure. Let them relax … and lets the parents relax, too," parent Bill Duggan said.

The school has also told teachers not to assign an unusual amount of work the week after break. Ridgewood schools officials said they are going easy the week after break because they don't want to sabotage their pilot program.

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