Statement by the President: 2000 Annual Report on School Safety (10/26/00)
                              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.


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