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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 12, 1998

Statement by the President

Today, the Attorney General and Secretary of Education forwarded to me an important, but troubling, study on school crime. Although the study shows that the overall crime rate in our schools did not change significantly between 1989 and 1995, it confirms that some schools have serious problems. Most disturbing, the study found that the number of students reporting gangs in their schools has nearly doubled. This is unacceptable. Gangs -- and the guns, drugs and violence that go with them -- must be stopped from ever reaching the schoolhouse door.

Congress can help lead the way by passing the anti-gang and youth violence strategy that I sent to them more than a year ago. It is based on what we know works -- tough, targeted deterrence and better anti-gang prevention. Through this approach, police and prosecutors in Boston literally disarmed the gangs and brought juvenile gun murders to a halt. We should not wait any longer to help other communities do the same.

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