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HOW TO MAKE SCHOOLS SAFER

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Despite well-publicized cases to the contrary, most of the nation's public schools are not hotbeds of violence. School, in fact, may be the safest haven in some chaotic communities.

Yet the situation has its grim aspects. Consider a few unsettling statistics:- Every school day, 160,000 students stay home from school because they are afraid.

- One in 11 teachers has been attacked at school.

- Many teachers have considered leaving the profession because of violence and intimidation.

- Every day, 135,000 juveniles carry guns to school.

- A new poll of adults by Phi Delta Kappa, the professional education fraternity, ranks violence as the No. 1 problem in public schools and poor discipline as No. 2.

What's the solution? Ninety-four percent of those surveyed by Phi Delta Kappa said respect for others should be taught in the schools.

Here's another suggestion: Let's teach respect in the home. All too often, that's where the trouble begins.