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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 15, 1998
                  Promoting a Community-Wide Response 
                  to School Safety and Youth Violence

To help communities throughout the country promote a coordinated, comprehensive response to school and youth violence, the President will launch a new Safe Schools --Safe Communities initiative designed to help cities develop and implement community-wide school safety plans. He will also kick-off a partnership between the federal government and MTV to engage youth in solutions to violence.

The Safe Schools --Safe Communities Initiative

A Community-Wide Response. Parents, principals, police and others should work together to prevent school crime and violence from ever taking hold in their communities. To help promote such coordinated, community-wide responses throughout the country, the President will launch "Safe Schools --Safe Communities." Under this initiative, 10 cities will be eligible for at least $25 million in discretionary grants from the Departments of Education, Justice and Health and Human Services to develop and implement strategies with the following components:

Formal school safety policies, including zero tolerance for guns and drugs, discipline, school uniforms, and truancy prevention;

School security measures, such as metal detectors and police patrol of schools;

Assessment and interventions for troubled youth, such as mental health counselors and alternative schools;

Prevention, including mentoring for students; and

After school programming for children and youth

One-Stop Shopping. Under this initiative, communities adopting a comprehensive approach to school safety will no longer have to seek federal support for their efforts in a piece-meal fashion. Instead, eligible applicants will benefit from "one stop shopping" -- or a single application, through which a series of federal grants targeting youth violence can be accessed. Each site will be eligible for up to $3 million, depending on the size and needs of the community.

Getting Youth Involved in the Community Response

MTV Partnership. The President will announce a partnership with MTV to engage youth in solutions to violence. He will announce that MTV, beginning in 1999, will launch a year-long media campaign --"Fight For Your Rights: Take A Stand Against Youth Violence" --designed to give young adults a voice in the national debate on school and youth violence.

Providing Solutions for Youth. In partnership with the Department of Justice and Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts, MTV will create and distribute a Youth Action Guide that aims to engage youth in mentoring and other positive solutions to violence. The guide will be made available through a 1-800 number at the Justice Department and through MTV.