THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 26,
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I am pleased that the 2000 Annual Report on School Safety released
today by the Departments of Justice and Education shows that crime and
violence in our nation?s schools continue to decline. Since 1992, rates of
serious crime, including violent crime, have declined steadily in our
schools, and the number of non-fatal crimes in schools is down by more than
21 percent. Between 1992 and 1997, the number of students who report
carrying a weapon to school decreased by 25 percent. School homicides,
which remain extremely rare, are also on the decline. This report provides
encouraging data that our efforts to protect our children are having an
Since Vice President Gore and I took office, we have encouraged
communities to come together to ensure that our schools are safe places for
learning. By making school safety a top priority, our Administration has
helped provide more and better-trained police officers in schools; vastly
increased funding for after-school programs; required zero tolerance for
guns in schools; and funded more mentors and school counselors to help our
kids stay on the right track.
We owe it to our children to make sure that crime in school continues
to decline. We can continue our progress by supporting comprehensive,
locally-based efforts such as the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative.
Across the nation, 77 communities have received $147 million under this
innovative program to fund enhanced educational, mental health and law
enforcement services. Programs such as this one allow us to promote the
healthy development of our students, and to identify those children who may
be having problems and get them the help they need to turn things around.
By working together, we can continue our success in making America?s
schools safe for each and every student in our nation.