President Clinton and federal education officials are focusing attention on school safety with a new guidebook of strategies to help schools prevent violence.
Mr. Clinton announced the guide’s release in Worcester, Mass., during a break in his vacation late last month. The event drew heavy media coverage, largely because it was Mr. Clinton’s first public appearance since his admission of an inappropriate relationship with former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky.
The publication drafted by the Department of Education outlines prevention and intervention strategies for schools, including ways to build positive relationships between students, teachers, and parents.
It also offers information on warning signs for potentially violent students, as well as methods of building a safety action plan within a school.
Others Weigh In
On Aug. 27, the same day the guidebook was released, Vice President Al Gore held a town meeting in San Francisco with students, parents, teachers, and law-enforcement authorities to discuss ways to curb youth violence and create safe schools.
And, just last week, the National School Boards Association and the National Association of Attorneys General released a 10-point safe-schools plan of their own, available on the World Wide Web at www.keepschoolssafe.org.
With much of the media watching, after a series of multiple shootings at schools in 1997-98, school violence will be a crucial issue for educators to address this year, said Rosalind Brannigan, the vice president of the Washington policy-research group Drug Strategies.
“The pressure from parents and the community about school safety is going to have to make school administrators spring into action,” she said in an interview.
She praised the federal guidebook’s easy-to-read format and said it would make a good resource for schools. “It’s solid, with lots of information.”
The free Education Department guidebook will be sent to schools nationwide. It is also available at www.ed.gov, or by calling (877) 4ED-PUBS (433-7827).