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Buddynice - On My Own (Go Deep) __FULL__

President Bush Participates in Panel on School SafetyNational 4-H Conference CenterChevy Chase, Maryland Video (Real) Presidential Remarks Audio Fact Sheet: Conference on School Safety Conference on School Safety In Focus: Education1:24 P.M. EDTTHE PRESIDENT:Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you allfor coming. In many ways, I'm sorry we're having this meeting. Inother ways, I know how important it is that we're having this meeting.The violence that has been occurring in our schools is incredibly sadand it troubles a lot of folks. And it troubled me and Laura.And so Iasked Margaret and Al to host a gathering of concerned citizens, thepurpose of which is to come up with best practices and just sharedexperiences so that others might know how to react to prevent and reactto inexplicable and -- violence that is hard to imagine.All of us in this country want our classrooms to be gentle placesof learning, places where people not only learn the basics -- basicskills necessary to become productive citizens, but learn to relate toone another. And our parents I know want to be able send their child orchildren to schools that are safe places. And the violence we've seenis upsetting to a lot of people and I know it's upsetting to theprofessionals who are with us. But rather than be upset, it's best forall of us who are responsible for helping the folks not only cope, butto prevent action from taking place, it's best to be proactive. Andthat's what this meeting is.And so I want to thank you all for joining. I got a firsthandreport on one of the panels from Laura, who said that -- I think if Icould summarize your words, it was like really interesting and veryimportant. And so I thought what I would do is ask Al and Margaret tobegin this session and maybe hear from some of the folks here, and then,if time permitting, hear from you all out in the audience.Again, I want to thank Margaret and Al for setting this up, andreally thank you all for coming and taking an interest. I know we gotpeople from all around the country, and it's -- this is a nationwideeffort to help people who are responsible protect our children.ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Mr. President, thank you for askingMargaret and I to host this important conference. We've had some goodpanel discussions, as you've already heard already. You've met some ofthe panelists we've invited back. And just for our audience, again,we've asked Dr. Marleen Wong, Craig Scott, Fred Ellis, and Sheriff JeffDawsy to help us speak with the President about this important issue.Mr. President, I'm going to talk a bit about the panel that Imoderated which dealt with the scope of the problem from the lawenforcement perspective.Margaret is going to talk to you a little bit about the two otherpanels that we've heard from today -- one dealing with responding to thetragedy, prepared for the tragedy at the parent level and the schoollevel.And the other is how do communities heal, how do they recoverfrom these kinds of tragedies.With respect to the first panel, the good news we heard was that,generally, America's schools are safe places to be. Your kids are muchmore likely to be safer in school than they are at the mall. And that'sthe good news.We are, however, are seeing some indications in the lasttwo years that those trends are changing. And so that's something thatwe want to watch very carefully, monitor that and see what can be doneto reverse it, if, in fact, that is a trend that we need to be worriedon.We also learned that the U.S. Secret Service and other federalagencies are doing a lot of good work already in dealing with thisissue.The Secret Service, in particular, has been working on a threatassessment guide that they make available. And there is someone in theaudience that I would like to have come to the microphone. He is PoliceChief Art Kelly from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and he wants to relayto you an example where he relied upon the information by the SecretService in an actual case.THE PRESIDENT:I like the Secret Service, too, Art. (Laughter andapplause.)* * * * *THE PRESIDENT:Let me ask you a question, Al -- not you, Chief,but -- well, I can ask you, too. I presume out of this there will be aseries of best practices that you will share with principals and schoolsdistricts that explain, for example, what people could look for todetermine whether or not there's an early warning sign, and then how torespond.ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Exactly.THE PRESIDENT:Okay, good. Thanks, Chief.ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Mr. President, we also heard from TomKube, of the Council of Educational Facility Planners, who talked to usabout school design, and that the way we design our schools can behelpful in protecting our children.We had an interesting discussion about metal detectors. Some ofthe panel members -- they don't believe it's an effective toolpreventing violence; one in five school shootings occur outside theschool building, so they couldn't help in any event. Our students, aswe know, are very smart and resourceful and they figure out a way toavoid metal detectors.Also one panel member said that it sends thewrong message about what we think of our kids when we have them come toan environment where they're supposed to learn and have to pass throughmetal detectors. So I found that to be very, very interesting.THE PRESIDENT:I happen to agree, but what I do know?(Laughter.)ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Yes, sir. We also then spent a lot oftime talking about information sharing. This is very, very important,in terms of gathering up information and being able to share it with notjust parents, but administrators, events happening at home. And I'dlike Sheriff Dawsy to talk a little bit about this point.* * * * *THE PRESIDENT:Is there an opportunity to share between sheriffsaround the country how they're dealing with this issue? Does it makesense to have the National Sheriff's Association contact -- ask forstories, practices, and then condense them and send them back out sothat people can -- who probably aren't listening to this will be able to--SHERIFF DAWSY:I think it would be a wonderful initiative. One ofthe things I learned today was not more about questions, but more ofsolutions. There was many different speakers that came up and told usabout different resources to use.THE PRESIDENT:Yes, that's my point.ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Mr. President, I think that SheriffDawsy would say that this program helps him to do his job, which meansthat I'm sure all the sheriffs around the country would like that kindof program, as well, to help them do their job.THE PRESIDENT:That's my point. Yes, so who is responsible fortalking to the head of the Sheriff's Association or the police chiefs tomake sure that happens?AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm right here, sir, and it will be done.THE PRESIDENT:Thank you, sir. Very good.ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Sir, one final point I would just liketo emphasize, and that is, there are many schools that have plans interms of how to deal with a threat or an incident that occurs, but theplans are worthless if people don't know about them, if they're notdusted off, if people don't practice them. And as the Secretaryindicated earlier this morning, there's a lot of turnover that occurs inthe school between the faculty, the administration, between students andfamilies. And it's very, very important for schools to understand whatthe plans are and to practice those plans. It made a big difference twoweeks ago in terms of the shooting in Bailey, Colorado, where they wereable to respond in a very effective manner to that tragedy. And sothat's a very important thing that needs to be emphasized over and overagain.There were many other points that we discussed, Mr. President, andI think we made some good progress in this area.THE PRESIDENT:Thank you, Al.SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Thank you, Mr. President. That's a goodplace to begin on panel number two -- we call this in education ateachable moment, because we have plans, lots of work has been donepost-9/11, post-Katrina and other incidents, but if parents, teachersand faculty are not aware of what's been done, then they're worthless.And so on panel two we talked a lot about readiness. We talked abouthow to create a school culture that was supportive and nurturing, thatwhen young people have connections with adults, caring adults, howimportant that is; how there are signs to watch for; that a lack ofacademic success and other things like the Sheriff talked about areclues, that are ways that we might intervene.We also talked about the need for constant communication andcoordination between school personnel and law enforcement. We talkedabout how every community is unique and individualized, that those aredecisions and discussions that have to happen at the local level. So wealso figured out ways or talked about ways to continue to develop thoserelationships and strategies around those sorts of things.Fred Ellis, who is the head of school safety in Fairfax County, myschool district, and is also a member of my commission that's part ofthe No Child Left Behind Act, the Commission on Safe and Drug-FreeSchools -- Fred serves on that. We'll be meeting in the next few weeksand giving them some new charges that came out of our meeting today.But I'd like Fred to speak about some of the things that he'sexperienced.Fairfax County is considered to be one of the national models,national leaders in this area.So, Fred, thank you for your work.* * * * *THE PRESIDENT:Did you say 81 percent of the students were awareof a violent act?MR. ELLIS: Some of the data that I had heard today from the SecretService and some of their research, that much information was out there.THE PRESIDENT:It seems like a pretty good opportunity to preventan attack if 81 percent of the -- there's an 81 percent awareness of apotential attack, which then I guess would lead to making sureprincipals explain to students, when you hear something, please tell me.MR. ELLIS: Yes, sir. I think that's part of the point, is thatthere needs to be a culture, a climate in a school where students andfaculty and staff and visitors feel comfortable with reporting stuff.Particularly at the student level, because we know that they do talkabout it, but they have to have -- they have to feel comfortable that,one, they know where to go to report this information, and that there'sgoing to be a useful and successful outcome and intervention to preventsome violence.SECRETARY SPELLINGS: We also heard from a gentleman named JimMoore, who founded a program called Project Watch D.O.G.S., which isbasically dads coming into schools and being role models, modeling goodbehavior and being a presence.Another way that we can kind of be alertfor behavioral patterns and the like is to make sure that we have asmany grown-ups in schools as we possible can.So, Jim, thank you for your work. He's from Arkansas -- actually,he's from La Mesa.Anyway, in panel three we talked about recovery and healing, andhow it takes time. And we learned from our professionals, like MarleenWong, who I've had the opportunity to get to know as she helped us andhelped communities on the Gulf Coast deal with the aftermath ofHurricane Katrina. She's been an asset to the Department of Educationin our work for a very long time. And she's from Los Angeles, works atthe LA Unified School District.We know also that these sorts of incidents can occur in inner-cityAmerica and Amish communities, private schools, public schools -- reallyevery single community has to be alert. So, Marleen, why don't you talka little bit about your work in Los Angeles.* * * * *THE PRESIDENT:Is it typical of a student that expresses a wish todie, makes that clear to his or her peers and to -- if people areattuned to what that means, to pay attention to somebody who exhibitsthe behavior that says, I am depressed and I want to die? I mean, is it-- it's a pretty strong statement.DR. WONG: It's a wonderful question, because there are -- thereare behaviors and there are expressions of hopelessness that come beforethat. And so I think we have to do a lot of education with just folkswho say, you know, they've changed, they don't have joy in life, andthat this is an early warning sign.THE PRESIDENT:But is it easy to define the behavior that wouldtip off an adult in a school, or some -- a coach or an art teacher thatthis is the kind of behavior that ought to say to us, we better payattention to this person, this child?DR. WONG: Yes. There's a short list, and actually, the studentwho sat on the previous panel did an excellent job of naming all ofthose things. I was so proud of her. I thought she ought to come anddo some training with our --THE PRESIDENT:And how many educators do you think that can name-- good job, by the way -- how many adults do you think around theschools in America can name the traits that would say, we better payattention to this person?DR. WONG: Not enough.THE PRESIDENT:And therefore, what can we do to make sure thatpeople understand what to look for? It seems like to me that a lot ofour focus ought to be on preventing. And no question, we ought to worryabout recovering, but preventing is -- makes the recovering notnecessary.SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Chiarasay, you did such a nice job thismorning, why don't you go to the microphone real quick and tell us thenine signs -- (applause.)THE PRESIDENT:Where are you from Chiarasay?MS. PERKINS: Mr. President, I'm from Walton County, Florida.THE PRESIDENT:Good. I know your Governor. (Laughter.)MS. PERKINS: Some of the traits that are noticeable are changesin everyday habits. If you know friends -- stuff like playing sports,he won't play sports; grade averages dropping; they start actingdifferent they start eating different, dressing different, carryingthemselves in a different manner as you would normally know them -- arejust some of the small things that you as a friend or as a teacher orparent could notice that will bring upon a change in the case if theyare depressed, or feeling as thought they want to commit suicide, orhurt somebody or themselves.THE PRESIDENT:That's great. Thank you.DR. WONG: Thank you. (Applause.)THE PRESIDENT:Let me ask you a question. From your experience,Marleen, if a teacher were to notice those traits, is it typical thatsomeone would act on them? In other words, I'm just trying to make sureI understand. If a student sees -- I mean, a teacher sees a studentbegin to change clothes and begin to -- does a principal and a teachertend to say, well, that's really not my business, it's the parents'business? In other words, awareness requires, by the way, some kind ofresponse.DR. WONG: And I think that varies around the country.THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I'm sure it does.DR. WONG: I think that more and more people are beginning to payattention just because we have paid such a dear price for ignoring someof the warning signs.THE PRESIDENT:So maybe an outcome for this is to encourage -- foryou to get in touch with the principals organizations or the teachersorganizations and help --SECRETARY SPELLINGS: And be aware of the warning signs.THE PRESIDENT:And then -- I guess there's a certain confidencethat has to come with interfering -- not interfering, but interceding ina child's life. My only question is, is there hesitancy when an adultsays, well, maybe this is just the way it's supposed to be, or maybeit's none of my business. And the question is if that's the case -- ifyou can determine that's the case, how do you get people to responddifferently?SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Cathy Paine, from Oregon, told us about --where they had an incident there, that there were dozens of signs ofthis particular shooter, and that the full picture didn't become clearuntil after the incident.THE PRESIDENT:Can you -- do you mind sharing that? Thanks,Cathy.MS. PAINE: Thank you, Mr. President. I was a school psychologistin Springfield, Oregon when the shooting happened there in 1998. Andthe point I was making was that for our shooter, yes, there were thingsthat individuals knew about him; his parents knew some things, teacherssaw a few things, but at no time was there a way for all of thosepeople, in a sense, to get together and share that entire picture. So20-20 hindsight has been very good, and we've been able to say, ah-hahand see how all that fit together.But because of -- whether it's lack of resources or lack ofknowledge, we didn't have a mechanism for that to happen. We're tryingto do a better job with that now, in forming what we call care teams inour schools where teachers regularly do get together and share concernsabout students, and then we try to connect them with our mental healthservices in the community.THE PRESIDENT:The whole purpose of this exercise is to helpeducate and, if there needs to be cultural change inside schools, forteachers to become more aware and more active -- or principals -- is totry to stimulate these kinds of discussions, obviously, outside ofWashington, at the local level or state levels, in the hopes ofpreventing these from happening in the first place.Thank you for coming to share your experience and appreciate you'resharing your expertise.SECRETARY SPELLINGS: One of the people who's been doing that in avery meaningful way is Craig Scott, who has talked all over the countryto teenagers and teachers and educators and school leaders. And he hasa very powerful story, as you know. His sister, Rachel, was murdered inColumbine.So, Craig, why don't you share your thoughts.MR. SCOTT: Well, just to give a little background, I was in theschool library during the shooting. I had 10 classmates that werekilled around me. I lost two friends underneath a table, and then laterthat same day learned that my sister, Rachel Joy Scott, was the firstone that was killed. And really I've been just now traveling over thelast seven years just sharing a simple story of compassion. And it'shad a huge impact on the school culture. Kids really have looked to heras a role model. She's been a hero to a lot of kids.And last night I just was looking back over the last seven yearsand I was in my hotel room and I just journaled, and I wanted to expressreal quick over the next couple minutes, just read to you what I wrotein my journal that expresses my feelings best.I said: Once upon a time, our goal of education in our countrywas, first and foremost, character. Academic achievement is now themain goal. I knew two students at Columbine that achieved the goal ofknowledge. Eric Harris and Dylan Kleibold were very smart. Theyplanned the shooting for a year and predicted the events that wouldunfold afterwards. The problem wasn't their education at my school,Columbine. Their problem was their character.I've grown up in a culture today that doesn't teach me anything ofsubstance, of value, how it bombards me every day with messages ofemptiness and shallowness. And the youth are crying for something tostand for, something to believe in. If it weren't for my faith or myfamily, I possibly could have fallen into the lies that our culturetells us. But now I've traveled, I've spoken to over a million teensacross this country. I've not always seen -- I've not always liked whatI've seen in the schools. I've seen depression, anger and loneliness,students without direction or purpose.I've seen students who calledthemselves cutters, have cut themselves because that's the way they knowto take out the pain that they're dealing with. I've learned a lotabout my generation. And I've learned a lot since I lost my friends andmy sister. And the main thing I've learned is that kindness andcompassion can be the biggest antidotes to anger and hatred, and Ibelieve the biggest antidotes to violence.With the program my father started called, Rachel's Challenge, aprogram my mom speaks for called, Life Choices, we've seen bullyingstopped, suicides aborted. We have 10 incidents where a student came upwith hit lists or plans to shoot up his


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