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WHYY EXAMINES 'VIOLENCE IN OUR SCHOOLS' LIVE ON TV12 WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 8, AT 8 P.M.; DISCUSSION CONTINUES ON 91FM THURSDAY, SEPT. 9, AT 10 A.M.

 PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- School violence is on the rise throughout the country. Nationwide in the last four years, at least 71 people were killed with guns in school and another 201 were severely wounded. In Philadelphia, a series of shootings and stabbings in the last school year prompted school officials to begin using metal detectors at some high schools, while in the suburbs a student at Upper Perkiomen (Pa.) High School shot and killed a classmate.
 Is there a solution to the problem of escalating school violence?
 WHYY will examine the issue on "Violence In Our Schools," a two-hour live TV12 broadcast on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. In the first hour of "Violence In Our Schools," a WHYY production, a panel of city and suburban school administrators, counselors, teachers and students will debate the causes of violent behavior and develop a plan to fight violence at a fictional high school. In the second hour, the studio audience will have a chance to question the experts.
 Attorney Carl Singley will moderate the discussion among 12 panelists, including Philadelphia School Board President Rotan Lee; two Philadelphia high school students; Annette Palutis, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association; and Joe L. Greene, president of the American Federation of School Administrators (a complete list of panelists follows).
 WHYY 91FM will follow up the program with a call-in special Thursday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. on "Radio Times," and will broadcast the audio portion of "Violence In Our Schools" Thursday at 8 p.m. "Violence In Our Schools" will also be broadcast live on WLVT-TV in Allentown.
 Panelists on "Violence In Our Schools" will discuss some of the difficult choices that must be made to make schools safe without compromising education:
 -- Should teachers have greater authority to discipline students? Should they be given more information about potentially violent students?
 -- Should school districts expel chronic trouble-makers or send them to alternative schools?
 -- Can metal detectors, video surveillance and police patrols in hallways make schools safer without compromising the learning environment?
 -- Should community leaders and parents be more involved in running schools? Will school-based management make schools any safer?
 -- Can problems at urban schools be solved by shifting money from suburban to city schools?
 "Schools used to be safe havens, now they are in the line of fire," said "Violence In Our Schools" producer Trudi Brown. An estimated 100,000 children nationwide bring guns to school each day. The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence recorded school shootings or hostage incidents in 35 states and the District of Columbia between 1986 and 1990.
 Retiring Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Dr. Constance Clayton told a City Council hearing on school violence, "Violence in society, particularly adolescent and teenage violence, has reached epidemic proportions" and this is spilling over into the schools.
 Many schools have installed metal detectors to keep weapons out, but, as Brown pointed out, such methods "can make schools feel like war zones." The proposed federal Safe Schools Act of 1993, which would provide funding for local districts to develop long-term safety plans, places a 33 percent cap on funds used to purchase metal detectors or hire security personnel.
 Some school administrators believe that the best solution is to help students find non-violent ways to reduce conflicts. At least a dozen school districts in South Jersey have recently instituted peer mediation programs that offer students a way to settle disputes before they turn violent. As Deptford High School Principal Dr. Harry Gallagher told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "We want to replace fear with respect."
 "Violence In Our Schools" associate producer is Terri Lynn Taylor. Director is Harold Parsons. Executive producer is David Othmer. "Violence In Our Schools" is made possible by subscribers to TV12.
 Panelists for "Violence In Our Schools"
 Moderator: Carl Singley, attorney, managing partner, Singley & Associates, and professor of law at Temple University. A former dean of the Temple Law School, Singley was First Deputy City Solicitor for Philadelphia and special counsel to the MOVE Commission.
 William T. Bergman Jr., executive director for school safety, Philadelphia School District. Bergman, on loan to the School District from the Philadelphia Police Department, served as chief inspector of the operations bureau.
 Michael D. Casserly, Ph.D., executive director, Council of the Great City Schools, a Washington-based organization that represents large urban public schools.
 Joe L. Greene, Ph.D., president, American Federation of School Administrators. A former teacher and high school principal, Greene brought dramatic improvements to two troubled Detroit high schools.
 Bernard G. Hoffman, deputy superintendent, Neshaminy (Pa.) School District. In his 35 years at Neshaminy, Hoffman has served as classroom teacher, principal and supervisor of curriculum and instruction.
 Jimmie C. Jackson, Ph.D., president of the Washington (D.C.) Teachers' Union, Local 6, AFL-CIO. Jackson, who taught in the public schools in Washington, has held a series of union offices.
 Veronica Joyner, founder and national president of Parents United for Better Schools. Joyner, a former Philadelphia public school teacher, received the NAACP's 1992 Visionary Leader Award.
 Rotan Lee, attorney, president of the Board of Education, Philadelphia School District, and partner in the law firm Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel. He has served on the School Board since 1989.
 Amy McKee, a senior at Mastbaum High School in Philadelphia, and editor of a newspaper for Youth United for Change, a branch of Woodrock, a youth service organization in Kensington.
 James Mills, executive director of Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti- Violence Network, an organization that conducts programs to reduce all types of violence in the city.
 Annette Palutis, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association. A teacher for 30 years in the Scranton (Pa.) School District, Palutis has an extensive background in legislative and political involvement.
 Ron Phillips, a student at Gratz High School in Philadelphia and head of Students Against Violence Everywhere.
 Franklin Tucker, executive director of Barron Assessment & Counseling Center of Boston. The Barron Center is the only counseling center in the United States that deals specifically with students caught with weapons in schools.
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 /CONTACT: Art Ellis, 215-351-1262, or Andrew Cripps, 215-351-0502, both of WHYY TV12/


CO: WHYY TV12 ST: Pennsylvania IN: ENT SU:

MJ-LJ -- PH022 -- 8032 09/01/93 14:49 EDT
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