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April 13, 1998: Safe, Strong Schools for America's Children

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A recent study shows that the overall crime rate in our schools did not change significantly between 1989 and 1995, but it confirms that some schools have serious problems. Most disturbing, the study found that the number of students reporting gangs in their schools has nearly doubled. This is unacceptable. Gangs -- and the guns, drugs and violence that go with them -- must be stopped from ever reaching the schoolhouse door.

- President Bill Clinton
April 12, 1998

Over the weekend, the Attorney General and Secretary of Education forwarded the President a report comparing school crime in 1989 and 1995. While the study indicates little or no change in the overall level of school crime, it shows that the number of students reporting gangs in their schools has nearly doubled. In response, the President announced the availability of $5 million for innovative school safety initiatives and called on Congress to enact his proposed $700 million in Anti-Gang and Youth Violence initiatives.

Working To Ensure Safe, Quality Schools For America's Children. President Clinton is fighting to keep our schools safe from the dangerous and deadly mix of gangs, guns and drugs through efforts that reduce youth crime and violence. To support these efforts, the President announced the availability of $5 million from the Safe and Drug-Free School programs to develop innovative strategies to prevent drug use, violence and prevent weapons from entering our schools. The President also challenged Congress to enact key components of his Anti-Gang and Youth Violence Strategy, including:

  • $255 million for juvenile crime legislation to help cities hire more prosecutors and probation officers, establish special court programs and implement comprehensive youth violence strategies;
  • $200 million to provide a five-fold increase in funding for after-school programs to help keep kids in school, supervised by responsible adults, between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. when most violent youth crimes are committed;
  • $195 million for a national youth anti-drug media campaign that teaches kids about the dangers of drugs;
  • $50 million to expand the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program by hiring drug and violence prevention experts to help schools reduce violence and drug use; and
  • $28 million to hire 162 new ATF agents and expand the President's Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative to help identify and crack down on illegal gun traffickers.

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