National News Roundup
To illustrate what urban schools are doing to address violence, the Council of the Great City Schools last week released descriptions of the safety and violence-prevention strategies used by 36 of its member districts, from Baltimore to Tucson, Ariz.
In an introduction to the report--which does not offer national statistics or draw conclusions--Michael Casserly, the executive director of the group, notes that "most urban leaders admit that there is not one model program and no magic solution.''
The council is "not sure of the extent to which these programs ... work,'' Mr. Casserly acknowledges. But, he writes, "we are convinced that these programs help.''
Each of the profiles offers information on the prevention or intervention programs used by the district.
In the Columbus, Ohio, district, for example, schools use the TRIBES social-development and cooperative-learning program, which includes information on interpersonal communication and the acceptance of diversity.
In the metropolitan Nashville schools, students disciplined in school are required to perform community service, rather than be suspended.
And in Tucson, five campuses have a Parents on Patrol program, and a School Watch program there encourages the schools' neighbors to be on the lookout for unusual activity.
Copies of the report are available from the Council of the Great City Schools, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 702, Washington, D.C. 20004; (202) 393-2427.
Many Teenagers Feel Fear At School, Survey Shows
Nearly a quarter of teenagers fear for their physical safety while at school, according to preliminary findings released by the Gallup International Institute.
Speaking this month at an American Medical Association conference on family violence, George H. Gallup Jr. said that 30 percent of 518 teenagers surveyed in 1992 and 1993 reported that their schools had serious problems with violent behavior in the classroom.
Two-thirds said they had best friends who had been physically harmed within the past year. Of those assaulted, 10 percent were hurt by teachers or principals, and more than 25 percent were assaulted by other adults, the survey found.
One in five of the teenagers surveyed reported that a friend had been assaulted with a knife or gun.
One-fifth of the 13- to 17-year-olds participating in the study said their best friends had been victims of sexual assault, and 9 percent said they had a friend who had been raped. Mr. Gallup said the rape figure likely was underreported because boys are less likely than girls to be aware of sexual assaults on their friends.
The institute will publish the study's findings in May, including data on drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, health care, AIDS prevention, and abortion, Mr. Gallup said.