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Clinton Releases Findings of School Violence Survey

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Washington

One in 10 American schools had at least one serious violent incident last year, President Clinton said last week in releasing the results of a national survey on school safety.

"When kids are more worried about guns and violence than math and science, we must all be committed to changing that," the president said.

The survey of 1,200 principals, titled "Violence and Discipline Problems in Public Schools" and conducted by the Department of Education last year, found that 47 percent of schools surveyed reported problems such as fights, thefts, or vandalism during the 1996-97 school year while 43 percent of the schools registered no incidents of crime at all.

The report provided a preview of the Education Department's full school safety report to be issued in September. Updates will be released annually at the start of each school year. The Education Department is also planning to issue a series of smaller reports on school safety before next fall. The studies are expected to examine students' views of school crime.

Education Department officials concede that current crime data tend to underreport school crimes because not every incident is reported to police. The Clinton administration has set aside $2 million in the current budget to help districts better collect information on school violence.

Free copies of "Violence and Discipline Problems in Public Schools" are available from the National Library of Education by calling (202) 219-1692, or on the World Wide Web at www.nces.ed.gov.

--JESSICA PORTNER

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