THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
President Clinton: Keeping Our Schools and Streets Safe August 27, 1998
Today, President Clinton travels to Worcester, Massachusetts to make announcements supporting law enforcement and helping make our schools safer. The President will announce: (1) the release by the Departments of Justice and Education of an Early Warning Guide for teachers and principals to help identify and respond to the early warning signs of troubled youth that can lead to violence in schools; and (2) the release of $30 million for states to provide college scholarships to aspiring law enforcement officers in return for a commitment of service.
Helping Schools Prevent and Respond to Violence
Giving teachers and principals needed tools. Schools are among the safest places our children can be. Nonetheless, last year's tragic and sudden acts of violence in a number of schools remind us that no community can afford to be complacent when it comes to protecting its children. In response to the tragic loss of life and injuries at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, President Clinton directed the Secretary of Education and the Attorney General in his June 13 radio address to develop a guide to help teachers, principals, and parents identify and respond to the early warning signs of troubled youth that can lead to school violence.
Today, the guide will be posted on the Education Department Website, and on September 1, a copy will be sent to every school in the country. The guide, based on research and experience in schools around the country, gives schools and communities information on how to:
(1) Identify the early warning signs that relate to violence and
other behaviors, including a list of specific signs to look for in troubled youth, such as: uncontrolled anger; patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying; detailed and specific threats to use violence; gang affiliations; feelings of persecution; and past history of violent and aggressive behaviors such as cruelty to animals or fire setting. Trained staff can use these early warning signs, together with knowledge about students and their circumstances, to determine when to seek help for individual students in order to prevent violence.
(2) Take action steps to prevent and respond to school violence.
The guide instructs schools on how to develop a violence prevention plan -- including ways to get help for troubled children -- and form a school-based team to oversee the plan's implementation. The guide also provides a crisis procedure checklist for schools to use if violence occurs. Finally, the guide lists actions students can take -- such as listening to troubled friends, involving trusted adults, and asking law enforcement to conduct school safety audits -- to help create safer schools.
Talking to communities about school safety. Also today, in San Francisco, Vice President and Mrs. Gore will visit Lincoln High School and hold a listening session on school safety with parents, local law enforcement, and community leaders to discuss ways to make our schools safer and our children more secure. This session, and others held by administration officials around the country, will help the President and Vice President to prepare for the upcoming White House Conference on School Safety this October 15th.
Advancing the Education and Training of New Community Police Officers
Police Corps: scholarships for service. The President will announce the release of $30 million for 23 states to encourage young people to become law enforcement officers by offering them college scholarships. The Police Corps, which began with the passage of the Crime Act in 1994, provides educational assistance of up to $7,500 per year for four years for students who agree to serve on a state or local police force for an equal length of time. The Police Corps also provides policing agencies $10,000 per participant for each year of required service.
Expanding Police Corps to 23 states. Six new states, including Massachusetts, will begin to participate in Police Corps as of today, bringing the total number of states to 23. The states participating in the Police Corps are: AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, IN, IL, KY, MA, MD, MI, MS, MO, NV, NM, NC, OH, OR, OK, SC, TX, UT, WA and the Virgin Islands. These states together will provide scholarships to over 1,000 students.
Order of Speakers
Mayor of Worcester, Raymond Moriano, makes remarks.
Attorney General of Massachusetts, Scott Harshbarger, makes remarks.
Chief of Police, Worcester, MA, Edward Gardella, makes remarks.
Representative James McGovern makes remarks.
Officer Michael Jones, Baltimore, MD Police Department, Police Corps
graduate, makes remarks.
Senator Edward Kennedy makes remarks.
Ms. Kathleen Bisson, teacher, Burncoat Middle School, Worcester, MA, makes remarks.
The President makes remarks.