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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release August 27, 1998
                        HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING 

            Highlight Successful Local School Safety Efforts

San Francisco, CA -- Vice President Gore and Mrs. Gore came to California today to learn about successful local efforts to curb youth violence and create safe schools, and they held a town hall meeting to hear from students, parents, teachers and law enforcement officials on the best ways to keep school children safe.

"The President and I are committed to supporting schools and communities' efforts to create safe schools -- nothing is more important than keeping our school children safe so they can learn and grow," said the Vice President, who was joined by parents, students, teachers, law enforcement, and community leaders from all across California.

"And that is why the President and I have called for a conversation on school safety across the country and a national conference on school safety this fall," he added.

The Vice President and Mrs. Gore encouraged parents and schools to work together to reduce youth violence, and discussed successful anti-gang and juvenile crime prevention initiatives, early intervention programs, and partnerships between mental health organizations and schools.

During the meeting, they heard about successful local programs, including:

        Los Angeles Early Mental Health Initiative:  An early 
        intervention program for students K-3 that works with 
        parents and schools to promote children's mental, 
        social and emotional development.

        San Francisco School Beacon Center Program:  A local 
        initiative that uses public schools to provide 
        after-school and social service programs for the 

        Oakland Peer Conflict Management Program:  This program
        encourages students in middle and high school to help 
        mediate and resolve conflicts between other students.

     As he has been traveling across the country, the Vice President has

been gathering suggestions for new ways to protect students and deter juvenile crime in preparation for the upcoming White House Conference on School Safety. There, the President and Vice President will proclaim National School Safety Day and highlight some of the Administration's school safety policies -- school uniforms, tough truancy laws, community-based curfews, and zero tolerance for guns.

In addition, the President and Vice President will issue the first Annual Report on School Safety, including: an analysis of all national school crime data and an overview of state and local school crime data; examples of schools and strategies that are cutting school violence, drug use, and class disruption; actions that parents can take to combat school crime, including a local safety checklist; and resources available to schools and communities to help create safe, disciplined, drug-free schools.