Serial No. 106-42


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce
























TUESDAY, MAY 18, 1999













The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 1:31 p.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Michael Castle [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.

Present: Representatives Castle, Goodling, Petri, Roukema, Boehner, Johnson, Greenwood, Graham, Souder, McIntosh, Upton, Hilleary, Ehlers, Tancredo, Fletcher, DeMint, Kildee, Payne, Roemer, Scott, Woolsey, Kucinich, Romero-Barcelo, Hinojosa, McCarthy, Ford, and Wu.

Staff Present: Becky Campoverde, Professional Staff Member; Victor Klatt, Education Policy Coordinator; Sally Lovejoy, Senior Education Policy Advisor; Krisanne Pearce, Professional Staff Member; Reynard, Media Assistant; Lynn Selmser, Professional Staff Member; Bob Sweet, Professional Staff Member; Kevin Talley, Staff Director; Shane Wright, Legislative Assistant; Dan Lara, Press Secretary; Kirsten Duncan, Staff Assistant; Gail Weiss, Staff Director; Mark Zuckerman, General Counsel; Cedric Hendricks, Deputy Council; Alex Nock, Legislative Associate, Education; June Harris, Education Coordinator; Cheryl Johnson, Legislative Associate, Education, and Roxana Folescu, Staff Assistant, Education.




Chairman Castle. [presiding] The Subcommittee will come to order.

This is the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families, and if our first panelists can find their way to their seats, that would be appreciated.

Let me, first, thank everybody for being here. I will make an opening statement. Mr. Kildee, who is the ranking member, meaning the senior member in the party not in power at the present time, will make an opening statement as well. They will be the only two opening statements. They will each be no more than five minutes in length. We will then go to the statements by all of you. We will start with Mr. Campbell and work right down. You will each have five minutes, as well. There will be a green light, and then a yellow light, and then a red light. You don't have to take all of your time if you don't want to, at all. Then each member will be allowed to ask questions, and the questions and answers together will take five minutes also, and they can ask questions of any one of you, or any one of you can volunteer and answer anything.

We also appreciate the chairman of the Full Committee Mr. Goodling of Pennsylvania, being here.

Let me thank everybody else, also, for joining this Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families, as we look at the issue of school violence here today. More than leaving an indelible mark in our hearts and in our minds, the recent tragedy in Littleton, Colorado, serves as an important reminder that no school has the luxury of summarily dismissing school violence as an urban problem. As Columbine High School joins the community of schools attempting to restore normalcy to the lives of its students and teachers, we are challenged to cast off our stereotypes and to examine these acts of violence in a new light.

As our witnesses well know, these tragedies can replay themselves at any school. While I cannot undo the harm that has been caused, or reclaim the lives which have been lost, I will do my part to search for the answers that will ease the minds of our students and make our schools less vulnerable to future acts of violence.

Some believe that this calls for tighter controls on firearms, with proposals ranging from the outright prohibition of handguns for anyone under age 21, to criminal liability for parents who knowingly and recklessly permit a child to have access to a gun that is subsequently used in a violent act.

Others believe that we need to focus on the so-called culture of death, and assign some degree of responsibility to those who seek to profit from graphic simulations of death and destruction on television, and in video games.

Still others believe that incidents like these can only be addressed by filling the void in the lives of those troubled teenagers, either through programs to build self-esteem, or faith-based organizations.

At this point, only one thing is clear to me. There is no single solution to the problem of school violence. We must move beyond the temptation to point the finger of blame at any one particular industry or event. Just as no one factor led these children to commit acts of violence, there is no one panacea for all of our Nation's ills.

Instead, as a first step, we must develop a better understanding of the many circumstances that will cause a student to level a weapon against his classmates. In this effort, everything must be on the table, from guns and culture, to parents and communities. To exclude any possible factor would be an injustice to those seated before us and the countless others who have suffered the physical and emotional scars of school violence.

I also believe that Congress has a role in answering the question of how to prevent future acts of violence. In fact, one of the purposes of this hearing is to examine the Federal role in prevention efforts. Yet, as we struggle to find the proper role for the Federal Government, we should resist the temptation to advance legislation in a mere attempt to score political points, only to forget the hard lessons of the Columbine classroom.

Finally, school violence, and, in particular, the rash of school shootings, is not a problem that our schools or the Federal government can solve alone. More than law or regulatory fiat, it will take a wholistic response that incorporates the best ideas of schools, families, communities, and every level of government.

It will also take families and teachers listening to the concerns of their children, and children willing to talk to parents and other trusted adults. Rest assured that I will do my part to listen to what others have to offer and make an enlightened contribution to our goal of achieving a safer and smarter society.

Today we will hear from those directly impacted by recent episodes of school violence. I commend our witnesses for their courage in sharing their experiences with us. Their insights will be a constructive force for prevention, and I know we all appreciate their willingness to join us this afternoon. Mr. Kildee?






Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm pleased to join Governor Castle at this hearing on school violence. While today's topic is not pleasant, the occurrence of recent shootings and the plague of school violence in our schools requires this committee to examine why this is happening and what can be done.

The safety of our young people and the quality of their learning environment is too important to ignore. I say this as a former high school teacher, as a father of three children who have graduated from high school in the last decade, and as the grandfather of two who will be entering school in the next few years.

I want to briefly start by acknowledging the courage of our witnesses here today in appearing before this Subcommittee. You've had school violence touch you in a very personal way. I know that it may difficult for some of you to talk about your experiences, but I assure you that Governor Castle and I very much appreciate you being here today.

When a incident of school violence happens, it is not only an issue for teachers, principals, parents, and students, but one that impacts the entire community. Therefore, the prevention of school violence must incorporate a community response, not one that is limited to a school or a classroom. Without a total commitment from the community surrounding this school, violence can and still will remain a problem.

Very often, societal, familial, or psychological problems lead to violence, and the school can become the arena where that violence is carried out.

It is my hope that Governor Castle and I take away a better understanding of how such horrible acts of violence can occur in our schools, what leads students to commit those acts, and what can be done to prevent those acts in the future.

I believe the witnesses that are before us today, many of them with their own personal experiences of school violence, can guide us in our work to answer those very important questions. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee, for your interest in this and so many subjects of education. We appreciate that.

We're going to go directly to our panel here today. By the way, any other Members are certainly invited to submit, without objection, any opening statements they wish to make for the record.

[The information follows:]







Chairman Castle. We will have very brief introductions. Two of the introductions will be done by other members of Congress who represent some of the young students who are here.

The very first one, Mr. Campbell, will be introduced by Mr. Tancredo. Our hearts have gone out to him, as well. He not only represents this area, but lives very close to Columbine High School. We will call on him for the introduction. Mr. Tancredo?


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Today is the 19th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Radio reports today carried accounts of various eye witnesses. I heard one say that it was a life-altering experience, and that from that moment on, his life had been quantified as pre or post eruption.

I know the feeling. A little less than a month ago, the lives of my neighbors and mine were changed forever. We can never go back to being the quiet little community in which we have lived and raised our families. When I go home, I sense that there is a surreal blanket of shock covering the community. Theaters, restaurants, and shopping malls are emptier. When folks do gather, they tend to do so in family groups, and they seem to be walking closer together, holding each other's hands more, and simply experiencing the pleasure of kinship that is so often sacrificed to the demands of everyday living.

There are, of course, 13 families in our community that cannot enjoy this simple pleasure because of an act so heinous that our minds strain to comprehend it. I have observed that, in regard to the event at Columbine High School, that there is a thin veneer separating civilization from barbarism, separating good from evil. On April 20, 1999, that veneer wore through in Littleton, Colorado.

All of us, whether in the halls of Congress, or in the workplace lunchrooms, try to comfort each other and our own troubled hearts by attempting to identify the forces that rub away at that veneer. We do so in the hope that in identifying them, they can be arrested.

American culture has also evidenced a violent nature. We, as a Nation, were born in it. Our history is replete with it. What does appear to be unique to this generation is the dimension of children killing children. My son, soon after the tragedy, wrote an article in which he laid out the cultural abrasives he believed contribute to the creation of children without a conscience. He said, "adult society complacently indulges the destruction of cultural traditions. Legal norms are in shambles. Murderers and perjurers escape punishment, and civil justice has become an elaborate shake-down scheme. Rampant materialism fuels a vicious cycle of decadent consumption and unending labor. Finally, cynicism and lassitude are the adult responses to the widespread cultural decay."

He goes on, ``our culture not only whispers, but veritably screams that anything goes. While this is the cultural undertow, the current at the surface holds up ideals that are betrayed almost immediately. Democracy is in disrepair, big business alternatingly rents, seeks, or foists cultural rot onto the complacent public, and education is mindnumbingly awash in psychological fads. This surely is a spiritual darkness that permeates the moral landscape of our Nation.''

But, our task is to now forego cursing its existence, and begin to light the candles that will pierce it. There is cause to hope. There are signs of rainbows in what is otherwise a very dark sky. Everywhere across this land, parents are re-connecting with their children. Millions of individuals are seeking a spiritual dimension to their lives, and the peace of heart that passes all understanding.

Millions have been able to fill the hole in their souls by contemplating the bravery of little Cassie Brunal, who dared answer "Yes" when her assailants asked her if she believed in God.

Ed Jones recently wrote a column for the Charlotte Observer entitled, "Littleton May Begin a Turnaround for America." In it he said, "could it be that the hammer blows of Littleton are directing us back to our true center? Could if be that what we are witnessing is the spectacle of a proud, secular America being humiliated, brought to its knees, not by a Hitler, or a Stalin, or a Milosovich, but by its own children?" It may be the children also who will lead us out of this nihilistic wilderness.

Mr. Chairman, today we are joined by Adam Campbell, a student from Columbine High School, along with a parent whose children were in Columbine on the day of tragedy. I am proud to welcome them to this Committee and anxious to listen and learn from their experiences. We do this in the hope that we will be led to the knowledge of what we, in this body, can try to do to strengthen that indispensable veneer which shields us from the ravages of unbridled evil. Mr. Campbell is a senior at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. While he fortunately escaped from the school unharmed, some of his friends were not as fortunate.


Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Tancredo. We will introduce the others and go down the line. By necessity, they will be somewhat briefer, but it is no less heartfelt to have all of you here.

The second witness will be Mr. Stephen Keene. He is a senior at Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. Mr. Keene attended Heath at the time of the school shooting there, in December of 1997. Mr. Keene has a unique perspective on events at Heath, as the shooter shot his brother that day.

Ms. Carla Williams is our third witness. Ms. Williams also attends Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Maryland, where she is about to complete her senior year. Ms. Williams is involved in student government and currently serves as the secretary.

Mr. Atteberry will be introduced by Mr. Wu.


Mr. Wu. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The tragedy at Columbine was heartbreaking for all Americans, but it was particularly difficult for the people of Oregon, where we endured a similar tragedy almost exactly a year ago, at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon.

Today it is my privilege to introduce two brave Oregonians who tell the tale of school violence from an all too close perspective. Student Ryan Atteberry and teacher Bill Smith, were on the scene as a 15 year-old student used a gun to turn his misdirected rage on his classmates.

Now is the time to begin the search for answers, whether it is by making it easier for parents to spend more time with their children, by better educating young people about the value of human life, by simply opening up the channels of communication so that it is more okay for young people to speak with adults about challenges and issues, and, by the way, that is the most commonly raised issue when I visit the many high schools in my Congressional district.

Some will focus on the tools of violence, guns, while others will focus on the mind and spirit which guides the hand which holds the gun. I believe that we must begin a search for answers without prior prejudice as to what those answers might be, and where this trail of inquiry may lead us.

The one thing that we cannot do is to give in to a feeling of helplessness about this wave which is sweeping America. I thank Ryan for having the courage to be here today, and to help us to find better ways to intervene and to prevent these acts before they occur. Thank you very much for coming to Washington.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Wu. The fifth witness will be Bridgid Moriarty, who is a senior at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Maryland. The Sherwood School Administration of Parents recently took an aggressive stand against school violence by searching and guarding the school in response to threats of violence. Ms. Moriarty has worked on violence prevention by organizing a student non-violence rally this spring.

Our final witness in this panel will be Ms. Anita Wheeler. Ms. Wheeler attends Western High School in Baltimore, and will graduate this spring. She also serves as a student representative on the Baltimore school board. She has unique insight and input into school board policies, including violence prevention.

We, again, appreciate all of you being here. As I've already explained, you will each have, if you wish it, five minutes. We have to keep it to a fairly tight time limit. At that point, each member here is allowed to ask questions, and that whole period also should take five minutes. We'll alternate back and forth between the sides, and one of the reasons that we have to stay fairly tight on the time is that we have a second panel that is very important as well, and we need to bring them forward and have them share some thoughts with us, also. We certainly look forward to having an exchange with you. Hopefully, it will be mutually profitable for everybody.

With that, Mr. Campbell, you are our lead off witness.




Mr. Campbell. My name is Adam Campbell. I am 18 years old, and a senior graduating from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. After the Columbine incident, I had a lot of mixed emotions. Some of my friends were not as fortunate as I was, and it was difficult to realize that I had escaped and they did not. I feel badly that they did not make it. Feeling safe in school after this happened was a not a real problem for me. I had only a few days left before graduation, and I knew I would be leaving for college.

There were several things that played a role in helping me after this tragedy. My friends played a huge role. We were able to talk about what happened. I think going back over to the memorials in the park may have helped some, too. Also, my church and family were there for me, and I feel secure with their understanding and love. We were together and there was unity.

Through my eyes I see good students wanting to be popular. They were not popular. They were weird and not accepted by the other students. Last year, some of the jocks did a lot of making fun of them because of their unusual dress which identified them as the trenchcoat mafia. They hated everyone. Hate will cause wrong choices. If a person has a bad heart, you cannot change it. Only God can change a bad heart.

In conclusion, I feel that our schools have done as well as they can, because you cannot change or control teen behavior. They have to make their own choices.

[The statement of Mr. Campbell follows:]




Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Campbell. We appreciate your statement and look forward to talking to you a little further.

Now, we will turn to Mr. Keene. Keep remembering to pull that microphone over pretty tight, if you can. Thanks.




Mr. Keene. My name is Stephen Keene. I am 17 and a senior at Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. My brother Craig Keene was shot in a morning prayer group on December 1, 1997. On this day, a young man named Michael Carneal walked into the school lobby, and after we had finished praying, shot and killed three of my friends, and wounded five of my friends, also.

I am going to talk to you about the long-term effects of school violence. At first, we thought that after the funeral, or at least I did, that we can bury them and things will start to get better. It didn't. Having them not there was probably one of the most terrible things I've ever had to deal with in my life. It got worse, almost, for me. It was terrible. As the months progressed, and school progressed, we thought that when school got out for the summer it was going to be just fine. It was. The summer was fine. But, when we came back to the lobby to pray that first day at school, it laughed at us, and reminded us of what happened a year ago.

We thought the one-year anniversary would bring some sort of conclusion to this terrible tragedy. It brought a sense of accomplishment that we had made it through. We had been strong and made it through an entire year, but memories resurfaced. Thoughts of my friends dying resurfaced. The memories of my brother laying in a hospital bed resurfaced. The pain didn't leave. The pain never leaves. We look for a way to get over it. We can't. I think that is the thing that a lot of people haven't understood, that how can we help these kids get over it? They can't. It is a part of them. It has become who they are now.

It is almost a subject of how we have to help these kids now that it has already happened. They can't get over it, fully. It is just a part of who they are, and just in this past minute, I've taken you through a year of my life, and hardly anything has changed.

Think about the long-term effects honestly, what you think are the long-term effects. It is obvious: fear, anxiety, depression, loneliness, feelings of helplessness, not being able to help yourself or your friends who are going through the same thing you are, and a total loss of control; you lose control of your emotions. You can hardly control yourselves sometimes because you are crying so bad. It is just the things you have to live with now, an inability to make things right; things that are just beyond your control. You can't control these things; we're able to control what we do at school, and we're able to control what we do at home, but we can't control somebody dying. That is a hard thing to deal with.

Also, in the long run, it has inspired what has appeared to be many copycat shootings across the Nation. After ours, Springfield, Oregon, and Columbine High School also had similar shootings. They just seem to get bigger and bigger, with much more devastating effects than what we had at our school.

We look for solutions in the long run. It is sad that we have to talk about what solutions are, anyway. I think that is pretty sad. We are looking for a solution, and a way to gain insight on what can be done to help our children. I believe the first place to look is in our homes. Education needs to start with a strong moral and a strong spiritual value, taught at home and practiced in the home.

We cannot expect our schools to raise children. We must bring God back into our families, and, yes, once again, hang the 10 Commandments as a visible sign to everybody that there is good and there is wrong in our classrooms. Teachers need to also realize that they can have control of their own classrooms without fear of being sued or accused of misconduct.

[The statement of Mr. Keene follows:]




Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Keene. We know that this is not easy, and we appreciate your sharing your thoughts with us. Ms. Williams you are next.




Ms. Williams. Good morning, ladies and gentleman. My name is Carla Williams, and I am a senior at Sherwood High School. All of us are gathered here today for one reason in particular, and that is to talk about violence in our public and private schools.

It is time for the students in our high schools, middle schools, and even elementary schools, to take a stand against violence. Recently at my school, on May 10, there was a threat that there may be a bomb within all of the schools throughout Montgomery County. The night before that, on May 9, my father was one of the people who spent the night at Sherwood High School to make sure that there were no bombs planted inside of our school building. His example gave me the courage to come to school the next day and to face whatever the school day held for me.

As time went on, the school was not bombed, and nothing came of the May 10th threat. It is sad to me how someone can take a serious incident, such as the one in Kentucky, or in Colorado, and turn it into a joke, just because they feel that they need to be out of class that day.

It is important for us to educate our children on the seriousness of these incidents, and for them to truly realize that stopping school violence starts with them, and inside their home.

By having this forum on violence in our public schools, we are taking a step in the right direction, but there is so much more that needs to be done. Stopping violence starts here, so, with that in mind, let us all make a pledge to do whatever we can to stop violence in our public schools. Thank you,

[The statement of Ms. Williams follows:]




Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Ms. Williams. We appreciate that. Mr. Atteberry you are next. You have to pull that microphone way over to get to you. Get it nice and close.




Mr. Atteberry. Hello, my name is Ryan Atteberry. Thank you for inviting me here today. I am here to talk about events on May 21, 1998 at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, my school.

May 21 started like any other day. I met some of my friends, and we went to visit my first class. The next thing I know, I'm laying down on the ground, paralyzed, my head filling with a deaf ringing sound.

After a few minutes, I realized that I could barely move my fingers and my feet. I felt much better after knowing that I could barely move, but then I gained the ability to move around.

I realized something terrible had happened when I noticed the blood coming out of my side. Then I realized that I was shot. I spent five days in the hospital with tubes stuck down my throat so I could barely breath. My throat was so swollen that it was almost shut. The bullet was still lodged near my spine. The doctors say that they are going to leave it in there, because it would do more damage to take it out.

I survived my injuries and have had a full recovery. Two of my friends were not so lucky; Ben and Michael did not survive. I am here today to encourage everyone to help stop the violence. There is no place for violence, especially at school. We all need to work together to solve our problems. We must use words, not violence. All of the incidents here were a wake-up call, so when are we actually awake? Thank you.

[The statement of Mr. Atteberry follows:]




Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Atteberry. We appreciate you being here, too. We know this is very courageous of all of you.

And we'll go next to Ms. Moriarty.




Ms. Moriarty. Hello, my name is Brigid Moriarty, and I am from Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Maryland. Obviously, the recent violence has caused a great commotion. A fellow student, Kady Waterhouse, who is also here today, and I organized a student rally in response to this. We were both a little frustrated with the small turnout, because when promoting it, we received many positive responses.

We held this rally with the hope of giving students a chance to do something about the increasing violence, and to prove that they could make a difference. We had tables set up with various things for students to pledge non-violence, and we also asked them to give us their own ideas. Some of these were, to be more tolerant, to start teaching non-violence at a young age, and to express their anger constructively.

Kady can also answer any further questions about the rally. I would like to ask you right now to look to the left and right of you, and imagine those two people dead. It is rather morbid, and you probably don't want to think about things like that, but that is the reality for too many who have lost friends and loved-ones in incidents of violence.

I don't think that most of here can even fathom many of the horrendous acts of violence that have happened too many times. I went to school on May 10, the day that Sherwood and many other schools in Montgomery County were threatened with bombs. It was almost as if half of the students had been eliminated by a bomb. While I knew that most of the kids had just stayed home because they wanted to use the bomb threat as an excuse for a day off of school, it was still eerie. I felt uneasy walking down empty halls and attending classes with four other students, and to be watched by a policeman as you open a locker is not fun. It does not have to be this way. Students will not get an education if this continues.

But, it is hard to legislate this, because it feels like there is an insanity involved, and I truly believe that that is part of what led to the recent tragedies, because I don't think anyone in their right mind could blow off people's heads and cackle about it.

It is nice to have someone to blame, though, so we say it was the parents, or the teachers, or the local police, but are any of those people experts in psychology? I've watched violent movies, listened to violent music, and read violent books, and never would I ever joke about doing something like that. So where can you draw the line? When is thinking differently okay, and when has a child gone too far?

As lawmakers, you have the capacity to change things in the legal sense. That is why we are all here today, to help you decide how to change things, because I think it is fairly obvious that we all know that something must be done. I don't feel that passing loads of legislation restricting how children can dress, and what they can say or do in school, will fix our problem. It has to be something that students are involved in, a group effort involving students, administrators, and parents.

We need to have some sort of program that offers children a place to vent their anger and teach them compassion. Some schools have small group meetings every week where the students are encouraged to talk about what is going on in their lives. This gives them a chance to get to know, intimately, at least a few of the other students, fellow classmates, and an adult, either a teacher or someone else from the neighborhood.

This can't be accomplished in math class. We need something else to happen. The more people you know, the more tolerant you become towards all people. Whatever it is that is initiated needs to combat the increase in violence. The students must be involved, because if we are not, it will just be another rule forbidding us from something or infringing upon us, and will, most likely, not be a welcome change.

It is interesting, when I was in Spain this April on an exchange program, I found that they have a nickname for violent, bloody films: Americanos. When I invited Spanish students to come and visit me in America, some responded that they were not allowed to come because their parents did not think that it was safe.

In one of my classes here, we were talking about the events that affected the entire Nation. My teacher said that when John F. Kennedy was shot, the whole Nation stopped. Men, women, and children, cried in the streets because of the murder of this one man. He then asked what we thought an event was for our generation, but none of us could come up with anything.

People said that too many things have happened_news of a bomb in Oklahoma, a shooting in Arkansas, a riot in California, while sad, did not have much of an effect on us because we hear it every day.

Now, while this incident is fresh in our heads, we must pass legislation to aid in the security of our schools, but we must also take a look into our own lives and ask ourselves if we have allowed ourselves to become desensitized, and not blame society.

We need to now do something that is going to continue for years and years to come, because if you wait until it happens in your neighborhood, it is too late.

[The statement of Ms. Moriarty follows:]




Chairman Castle. Thank you very much. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us, as well.

Our final witness will be Anita Wheeler, and we need you to pull that microphone way over close. Thank you.




Ms. Wheeler. Hello, my name is Anita Wheeler. I currently serve as student commissioner to the new Baltimore City public school board of commissioners, and speaking to students all over Maryland, here are some suggestions we had as a solution.

Nationwide class-size reduction. Too often students are faced with entering a classroom with 40 other students and only 1 teacher. This crowded environment is not a safe and nurturing learning place for any student. Smaller classes will focus more attention on individual students in urban areas, as well as to detect possible behavioral problems that may be seen as a threat in the future,

In order to increase student achievement and to prevent school violence, we must place our attention on long-term remedies that will prove beneficial in the long run. My sister, who is a fifth-grader in the Baltimore City public school system, has 38 classmates, and only 1 teacher. There are no aides or tutors to help with the teacher's workload. How can a teacher possibly be able to identify a troubled child when she has to teach, as well as nurture students.

We must seriously consider using Federal money to reduce class size in urban areas, to reduce the rate of violence, as well as help teachers teach more effectively, and boost student achievement.

Professional staff training and early intervention of troubled youth. Federally funded money should be made available for staff training in the area of early identification and intervention of troubled youth. What are the signs to look for, for example?

In Baltimore, Maryland, the Baltimore City public school system uses local grant money, as well as Federal grant money, to train core teachers called instructional support teachers in the academic areas, such as science, math, language arts, and social studies. This structure should be implemented to meet the social needs of students. For example, cultural diversity and stress management.

School psychologists, school counselors, and peer mediators, should be utilized in the same way, to assist teachers and community members in early identifying strategies. We have students at-risk. We need to have procedures in place to prevent students from harming others, or even themselves.

It is our responsibility to recognize at-risk students at an early age, preferably elementary school, and to provide on-going support.

Parental involvement. We need to encourage parental involvement to help prevent school violence. Parents that are involved with and play an active role in the child's learning and school activities help promote education, but often parents may not be available.

It is important to recognize the structure of families today. Often one parent, primarily female or a grandparent, is responsible for children. Families that have both parents in the same home are usually forced to work outside of the home as to meet the economic strain of the household.

Time spent away from the home results in latch-key kids, allowing children to raise themselves, or, even worse, their siblings. I think schools need to have more community forums to address these issues, such as school violence, and stress the importance of parental involvement.

Federally funded programs that are proven effective need to be put in place. No parent should have to choose between the safety of his or her children, and education.

Utilization of student leaders to help establish a network system. Many times, the role of student leaders is ignored. We must utilize these valuable resources to our advantage, for they are the ones who are in the classroom daily, and witness countless acts of violence.

Currently, my school has received several bomb threats. Students involved in student government and other organizations such as SHOP, Students Helping Other People, joined to establish an anonymous network. By word of mouth, students help to find the root of the problem, so to speak. In some cases, students were identified as making the threats. We must encourage this student action, with the help of school administration, parents, and teachers, to develop a way to make our school environment a bit safer.

On this note, I would like to comment that my school, this Thursday, is holding a teen forum to discuss the issues of school violence and cultural diversity.

My conclusion is, early this year, I, along with 100 other students, was waiting for a train. In fact, I was on my way to a school board meeting when a young man approached me with a handgun. He went to another male and threatened him with his life. At that point, I was genuinely afraid, especially after constantly hearing about shootouts and innocent bystanders being caught in the crossfire. I thank God no shots were fired.

This is one of many examples you face coming to and from school. This is a serious problem that we must all take responsibility for. The Baltimore City Public School System is a great system, oriented to solve problems with long-term solutions, not bandaid solutions. The students hope to fulfill their dreams, and hope that you pass legislation to control handguns. Yes, metal detectors and surveillance cameras may reduce violence, but students need to find a way to get guns out of our schoolhouse.

Work with us, the whole school community, to achieve this goal. We must set aside personal and economic barriers that will prevent us from moving forward on this endeavor to keep our schools safe. Thank you.

[The statement of Ms. Wheeler follows:]




Chairman Castle. Well, thank you very much, Anita. In addition to showing a lot of courage in being here, you were very articulate and you stayed within the time limit, which is a good lesson for all of the adults out there, and up here, from time to time.

We will now ask you questions. I will start this process. I have five minutes total to get the questions out, and to get your answers in, so I may have one or two of you answer at least the first question, and then go to the second question.

The first question to you is simply this: Having watched this now for four weeks, I'm impressed by the fact that what happened at Columbine High School, maybe because of the numbers of times it has happened before in other places, in Oregon, Kentucky, and other places in the country, perhaps by the enormity of what happened there, but, to me, it seems to have really galvanized the country. Everyone seems to be really focused on this now in terms of, we really have to do something. Before it seemed to be isolated incidents, but now everyone realizes that it is either copycat, or there are societal problems, or something is wrong out there.

I would just like a couple of you to share with us, if you could, whether or not that is true among children as well, that you're a lot more focused on these problems than you were before, and your friends are, is it discussed, it is being looked at in various ways by young people, as well as adults? Would any of you like to take a stab at that? You can volunteer for this. Ms. Williams, you look like you are ready. This is where the microphones are going to be tough. You've got to move them right up next to you when you talk, please.


Ms. Williams. After the incidents in Columbine High School, and in Kentucky, and all the other shootings, before those times, I never really thought about violence in our school. I went to Sherwood High School, nothing really happened there, and I was just there to learn. I hear in the news every day about people who are killed, students who are killed, children who are killed, but it never really affected me until I really, truly, realized that violence is not limited to the outside world. It can happen anywhere at any time, and that is why we must take a stand against violence.


Chairman Castle. Do you think that you are typical? Do you think that the students are now really thinking that way? Young people are thinking that way now, but maybe did not four or five years ago?


Ms. Williams. Yes. I think most young people are thinking that way, but there are still some other young people who still haven't woken up and really, truly, realized the seriousness of the situation.


Chairman Castle. Does anyone else want to comment on that?


Ms. Moriarty. I know I tried to lead a student rally, and it was a bit frustrating because we had maybe 20 kids show up, and we went to schools all over Montgomery County trying to promote it, and trying to get kids to come, and when we were there talking to them that said, "Oh, yeah, let's go. That will be really good."

Everyone is worried about it. Everyone is talking about it. But, they're not really willing to step out there and make a difference. I don't want to say that, because I don't know all of the students in Montgomery County. I don't know all of the students in the United States, but it seems like a lot of them, while they're worried about it, they don't really think it could happen at their school. They just can't imagine it, that someone they know could have that happen, and, I guess, we don't want to let it go until it does happen again.


Chairman Castle. Well, you said when you spoke in your opening statement, that you are here to help us change things, and that is what I hope we can do as well.

Anita started to list specifically some of the things that we can change. I'm going to throw out several topics, and I'd be interested in the comments by any of you about whether you think any of these things have a higher precedence in terms of what we should be changing in society, or what we should be looking at, or maybe you have an idea or a thought that I didn't mention that we need to hear about.

Obviously, and I'm not excluding this, because, to me, this is most important, is the whole concept of families, church, and community. That is evident. Without that, it is very hard to have any kind of foundation. But, beyond that, we have whole cultural surroundings; videos, movies, television in general. Anita mentioned the gun issue. Handguns in particular that she mentioned. I treat the internet as something a little bit separately from culture. The use of counselors and psychologists, peer mediators, mentors, the treatment of other kids, that is kids who don't appear to be in the main stream, and drugs and alcohol, are some of the things that I list.

We're going to run out of time here, but do any of you have any comments about what you might think is important in that group of things that we need to be looking at, to focus on?


Ms. Moriarty. I think communication is a big thing, like the peer counseling and stuff like that. Like I said, I did go to Spain this April, and it was so different to see the kids there. They talk to each other, they talk to their parents every day for two hours at lunch. They go home and sit there and talk to their parents about what is bothering them, and while they didn't have any shootings, I'm sure that there is violence there. I know it is not perfect there, but it seemed like the everyday things, like when I'm walking down the hallway I hear people saying, "I'm going to beat you up, I'm going to do this." You don't really hear it as much there. I think communication is the big thing, and having kids express their anger in constructive ways, and teaching them at a young age how to do that.


Chairman Castle. We are starting to run out of time. Is there anyone else who wants to comment on that?

Okay. Let's go to Mr. Kildee then for his questions.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a two-part question, and I would like to just move down the panel: Is the size of a high school in a factor that can contribute to school violence? Can a school be too big? Secondly, can, or should we do something about the divisions or cliques that often exist in high schools? Mr. Atteberry?


Mr. Atteberry. I do think the size of the school does matter, because the more people you get, the more people will get angry. Because the more people there are, our attention will not be very high, because people might bump each other and get angry from that, might get in a fight or not. But, it is mostly the size of the school that really does matter, and how many people are around, and also who attends. The more people are there, the more possible chances that some may get angry, at least one or more.

Our anger gets really out, and it is just a matter of how long we keep it in, and how big the explosion will be. I always say that we are all living time bombs, and how big the explosion is how big the stress we've had.


Mr. Kildee. Anyone else care to answer?


Mr. Keene. I kind of disagree with him. Because Heath is a very small school. We had a shooting there, as Columbine is a big school, and we still had shootings in both places. Like he said, it is how big is the explosion. I think the size of the school has maybe a difference on how many people actually get injured, whereas we had three people killed, and I don't know for sure how many were killed at Columbine, but there were significantly more students killed at Columbine than at Heath High School. I think schools are different in how many kids may be hurt, but it could happen anywhere at any school, no matter what size.


Mr. Kildee. How about the administration of a school? You read that sometimes the principal is not aware of certain groups or cliques within a school. Is the size of the school a factor in that lack of awareness? I taught in a school of about 1,000 students, Flint Central High School in Flint, Michigan. I thought I knew what was going on at school, but I didn't know everything that was going on there. But, would the size of the school play a role in the school’s administration not being aware of the existence of groups that are sometimes antagonistic towards each other?


Mr. Keene. It could, but it would be just chance. We had groups in our school, and it still happened, and our school is small.


Ms. Wheeler. Can I comment?


Mr. Kildee. Yes, please.


Ms. Wheeler. I think the size is a big factor, because, as I mentioned, I think the school should be a community where parents and teachers should be there in the learning environment. Now, I'm not sure if there are registered organizations at Columbine, but at my school we have registered organizations where students can get together with the same viewpoint, as long as they don't offend others while they are displaying them. Also, if they have anger toward other ethnic, racial groups, maybe everyone can sit down and talk about it in a community forum, or a teen forum, but I think we should stress the fact that the school is not just there for learning. In some cases, in urban environments, the teacher is the only parent a student may see. The student may look to the teacher for guidance, because parents at home are not there for that purpose. So, I think we need to separate urban and rural schools in that analysis, as far as school population.


Mr. Kildee. Can or should we do something about the various groups or cliques that exist at school? Does anyone have any comment on this?


Ms. Williams. I don't think that you can really change the cliques in school, because people form cliques as a way to get through high school, and those are their friends, and that is who they are going to stick by if they ever have trouble.

As for the cliques who have such hatred within them, they are all over the country, and if they are not recruiting inside schools, they are recruiting outside of schools, and there is nothing you can do about it, except have, I think, peer mediation. I am a peer mediator, and I often help people work through their problems, and that is one way of getting to people.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you very much for your answers.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. We will take, by the way, the various members of Congress in the order in which they came on the various sides. Chairman Goodling is next.


Mr. Goodling. Thank you. I, too, want to thank you for coming. As adults, we generally look for quick fixes, and we have easy answers even though we may not know what the questions are. Students, generally, are practical and realistic, and they think through what it is they are suggesting.

I have a couple of questions that you can answer very quickly. Number one, how many students in each of your schools?


Ms. Wheeler. Thirteen hundred.


Mr. Campbell. Approximately 2,000.


Mr. Atteberry. Fifteen hundred.


Ms. Williams. Fourteen hundred, I think.


Mr. Goodling. There is a purpose for my question, as you'll see. How many guidance counselors? Mr. Keene, did you answer?


Mr. Keene. About 600.


Mr. Goodling. How many guidance counselors in your school?


Mr. Atteberry. One or two.


Ms. Wheeler. Four.


Ms. Moriarty. Six at Sherwood.


Mr. Campbell. I think around seven.


Mr. Keene. One.


Mr. Goodling. Maybe if we go down the line, it won't be as confusing. How many psychologists in your school?


Mr. Campbell. I have no clue.


Mr. Keene. None that I know of.


Ms. Williams. None.


Mr. Atteberry. I think probably one.


Ms. Moriarty. None that I know of.


Ms. Wheeler. A part-time psychologist.


Mr. Goodling. You can see what I'm getting at.

Next question, are teachers and principals allowed to discipline, and, if so, do parents support their efforts? I'm not talking about writing 500 times ``I won't do that again.'' I was a high school principal; that is why I'm asking that question.


Mr. Campbell. The only punishment is suspension in our school, and as far as I know, the parents are fine with it.


Mr. Keene. Pretty much the same thing. It just depends on what kind of parents you get in there, and what kind of students you have getting in trouble. It depends on from person to person whether they agree with the punishment or not.


Ms. Williams. Anywhere from detention to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident.


Mr. Atteberry. Can you repeat the question? I didn't quite hear very well.


Mr. Goodling. The question is, are teachers and principals allowed to discipline, and do parents support the discipline measures?


Mr. Atteberry. Yes, we usually get detentions, suspensions, Saturday schools, and we also get expelled from our school for a long time.


Ms. Moriarty. Anything from detention to expulsion, depending on what the situation was. A lot of times the parents do protest the punishment.


Ms. Wheeler. Same thing here.


Mr. Goodling. I asked the question for several reasons. It was mentioned class size, my wife is a first-grade teacher, and she has 11 6-year-olds in her class. Three are hellions. They aren't 6-year-old hellions; they are adult hellions. She can't do anything about it, and neither does anyone else do anything about it, including the parents.

I also asked the question, because, if I remember correctly, if the news report was correct, were these two young men removed from class earlier that morning? According to a news report_


Mr. Campbell. At Columbine?


Mr. Goodling. Yes.


Mr. Campbell. I believe they just ditched their first couple of periods that morning.


Mr. Goodling. The article that I read indicated that the teacher asked them to leave the classroom; it was biology or something.


Mr. Campbell. I wasn't aware of that.


Mr. Goodling. I just wondered what happened, if that was true.


Mr. Campbell. I wasn't aware of that.


Mr. Goodling. I know what would happen if I were the principal. I just wondered if times have changed.

Thank you again, all of you, for coming in. Any other suggestions or recommendations that you have that might be something the Federal Government should be involved in, and this Committee, make sure we know what they are. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Chairman Goodling. Mrs. McCarthy is next.


Mrs. McCarthy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding this hearing. I think it is extremely important.

I want to thank all of the panelists. Mr. Keene, I know how hard it is, and I know what it is to go through the first anniversary, and the second, and the third, and the fourth, and the fifth. It doesn't get any easier, but life does go on. All of you have taken a step to try to make a difference, and that means something good will come out of it, and, hopefully, we'll take your information to try to make something good come out of it so we can prevent the violence in our schools.

The majority of the time, our schools are safe. People should realize that, and I don't think that we should overreact to a lot of things. But, everything that you have talked about is something that we have actually been talking about here in committee hearings for the last two years, that I know of. We've had the psychologists come in, we've had Janet Reno come in, even when we were dealing with a different subject, and talking about mental health, certainly in the younger years. And when you are talking your counselors, and how much mental health we are giving to our school students, we're not doing it. And, of course, I came here to Congress because of gun violence, and something I will fight for, and something I do believe in. With all of the problems that we can hopefully solve, and there are conflicts, and I think everybody on both sides of the aisle will agree on that, but we do believe that the easy access to guns is a main problem, especially for our young people.

We look at the schools and the tragedies that have happened in the last two years. No one is talking about the young people we lose on a daily basis. They don't make the newspapers. Those are the young people that commit suicide; that is violence. The homicides with our young people; that is violence. The accidental deaths; that is violence.

We have an opportunity, not only to help our schools, but to help all of our young people. Can we do more with mental health? Absolutely. There are a number of us who have been talking about mental health for a number of years; making our schools smaller; after-school programs. We can identify, and our teachers can identify, those students that need extra help, and yet, we're not giving it. We can't blame everybody. Teachers shouldn't be blamed, parents shouldn't be blamed, the community shouldn't be blamed. But, we should start turning that around, and we have to turn that around to the point where we're working together so that we're not so insensitized to the violence that is around us. Mr. Keene, you'll never be desensitized to violence anymore. You will always be aware of it, because that has touched your life, and you do have an opportunity to make a difference.

Hopefully, here in Congress, we will deal with these issues, and come up with some answers. The bottom line is, we won't be able to solve everything. We know that. But, we have an obligation to do the best that we can. Because, one of the hearings that we had not long ago, before Colorado, it wasn't a matter of whether there was going to be another school shooting, it was a matter of when. That is something that has hung over a number of us, and I sit here today hoping that we will do something, and not have another panel a year from now talking about the same thing. We have the information. We know what we can do, and we should react to it. This is not a knee-jerk reaction, and I thank you for your courage.

Don't give up as far as trying to get kids aware of it. It takes time. Don't get discouraged, and eventually all of you will make a difference, and maybe the adults will listen to all of you. I hope so. I thank you,


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mrs. McCarthy. We appreciate that. Mr. Greenwood?


Mr. Greenwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me address my first question to Mr. Campbell. Sir, did you know Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold?


Mr. Campbell. Yes. I knew both of them.


Mr. Greenwood. Can you tell us a little about what you knew about them? I am interested in knowing if you know anything about what their home life was like? Did you know them when they were very young, when you might have seen some of, what you called, the weird behavior, what their school experience was like?


Mr. Campbell. I'm not sure what their home life was like, because I wasn't that close to them. I had just seen them at school.

I knew them since probably the seventh grade. They didn't really start dressing in the black clothing and trenchcoats until my junior year in high school. But, they've always been really quiet, and really didn't associate with many people.


Mr. Greenwood. Let me stop you there, if I may. In those earlier years before they changed their attire and made themselves different, you said they didn't associate. Was it your sense that they were rejected? Was their behavior such that, for whatever reasons, people ostracized them, bullied them, or excluded them?


Mr. Campbell. They hung out in their own little group. They really liked computers, I noticed that, the computer game Doom. They were really obsessed with that game. I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but they were pretty much the nerdy group.


Mr. Greenwood. You said that in later years, when they became more clearly different with their attire, and so forth, that the jocks teased them. Could you elaborate on that? Do you know, for instance, were they physically assaulted by other students in the school?


Mr. Campbell. Not physically assaulted, but I do know that the jocks did make fun of them, but not really to their face. They were just pretty much like, ``look at that weirdo with the black trenchcoat.''


Mr. Greenwood. Let me ask you another question. I was a little concerned about the second-to-last sentence in your testimony. You said that, ``You cannot change or control teen behavior.'' I found that disturbing, particularly as a parent of two upcoming teens.

It seems to me that part of what every school in America has to start to do right now, and certainly pledge to do for the next year, is have a new standard, and that is zero tolerance of harassment of students based on differences, whether those are racial differences, sexual differences, any kind of harassment. I think as a society, from the moment -- I would be happy to hear from any of the students on this subject -- from the moment you get on the school bus, there is so much in the way of harassment in the halls and throughout the school experience. I can tell you that if any of your parents walked into their workplace and they were shoved against lockers, called names, and had their lunches dumped in their laps, they wouldn't tolerate that, and yet we expect young kids, vulnerable kids, kids with emotional problems at home, to accept this as a way of life.


Mr. Campbell. True, but harassment has been around ever since you were a little kid, too. I don't see how you could totally stop harassment.


Mr. Greenwood. You can't totally stop harassment, and your point is a good one. Harassment has been around. But, what we've seen in the last two years has never been around before in history, and it has never occurred elsewhere in the world, so it is a different phenomenon. I suspect that what is different is that the kids who were harassed when I was your age, they were angry and they were depressed, but they didn't have a culture that gave them permission, whether through watching Doom, or whether through the lyrics of music, that gave them permission to turn that rage and that depression against others.

I am running out of time. Let me just ask Mr. Keene, did you know Michael Carneal?


Mr. Keene. I knew him a little bit. I marched in the band with him.


Mr. Greenwood. What can you tell us about him?


Mr. Keene. I didn't really know him that well. It was claimed that he was picked on. I really didn't see that. I didn't really see that he was picked on all that much. To tell you the truth, I saw him pick on a lot more people than he actually_


Mr. Greenwood. Is that right?


Mr. Keene. Yes.


Mr. Greenwood. Let me quickly go to Mr. Atteberry before the light turns red, and ask him if you could tell us anything about Kip Kinkel? Was he the student who shot you, sir?


Mr. Atteberry. I didn't know him very much, but I have heard a lot of things. He was a lot of times picked on from his own classmates and other people; even in his family, he was picked on. So, it really does matter how much expansion you have for your tolerance, and how well you can deal with it.


Mr. Greenwood. Thank you very much,


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Greenwood. Mr. Scott?


Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to thank you for calling this hearing. Over the past two Congresses, we've been engaged in a debate on what to do to reduce and prevent juvenile crime in communities across the country, and as a member of this Subcommittee and also the Crime Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, which have the joint responsibility for juvenile crime policy, I've had more opportunity than most to participate in the debate.

What I've concluded from all of these debates is it really boils down to a choice for members. We can reduce crime, or we can play politics, but we can't do both. Studies have shown us what works. Parental training, early childhood education, dropout prevention programs, after-school and recreational programs, mental health services, drug rehabilitation, have all been studied and shown to reduce crime, often saving more money than they cost. But, those are inconsistent with the best politics of crime, which is to talk and act tough, like prosecuting sixth-graders as adults, locking up sixth-graders with adult murderers and drug dealers, even executing 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds.

We have seen no evidence that more of these after-the-fact law enforcement strategies would make any significant difference in reducing youth crime, and yet that has been the basis of our crime policy. So, I'm delighted to see the students here today helping us work through this and giving us some concrete solutions to the problem.

I have a couple of questions. One is, in terms of discipline, I think many of the students indicated that expulsion was one of the things that could happen. My question is, what is done during the period of expulsion that would make the student less likely to cause trouble in the future, if anything? Some schools have programs during expulsion, others just kick the student out and the student comes back just as bad as they left. Do any of the students who mentioned expulsion know of any programs during that period of expulsion? Ms. Wheeler?


Ms. Wheeler. In Baltimore City they just voted on the zero tolerance discipline code. In cases of expulsion, alternative schools have been built for students who are at-risk and are a behavior problem in the classroom. Unfortunately, there is not enough funding for schools to be built, they are called alternative schools, so a lot of the time students are at home doing nothing after being expelled.


Mr. Scott. At home or on the street. The after-school programs have shown to be effective in giving young people constructive things to do with their time, keeping them off the streets during the high-crime time between after school and when the parents come home. My question is, what kinds of after-school programs would students actually want to participate in?


Ms. Moriarty. I think students are interested in a lot of things, sports, drama, things like that, that we already have in some of our schools. But, there are other kids who don't want to stay after school at all. The biggest thing they want to do at the end of the day is go home and watch TV, or talk to their own friends, and so it is hard to make programs that those kinds of kids are going to want to stay for. I think a lot of kids do stay for lots of different clubs, environmental stuff, political things, but there is the group that just doesn't want to stay at all.


Mr. Scott. There are some that just wouldn't want to participate in anything, but I guess the question is, other than what we're doing now, what other kinds of activities would students want to participate in that we might not have thought about?


Ms. Wheeler. Maybe recreation centers. I know skateboarding and rollerblading isn't lawful in some places in the city. If we were maybe to build skateboarding ramps or places where students can go rollerblading, or just social clubs where students can just sit down and just talk. A lot of students either work or go home and socialize on the street corner. Maybe if we were to develop a constructive place where they can do that in a safe environment, that would deter students from turning to crime.


Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Scott. Mr. Ehlers?


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Some observations and then some questions: First of all, I think it is very important for us to distinguish between two major categories of violence, and they are both very bad, but we have to treat them differently. One is the one-on-one violence where someone gets very angry and if there are weapons involved, it can become very tragic. That, I think, has to be distinguished from the major violence such as you've testified about, where, obviously, there is a great deal of mental disturbance involved, and those have to be treated differently.

I would also like to refer back to the testimonies of Mr. Tancredo and Mrs. McCarthy in terms of Mr. Tancredo's comments that you have undergone a life changing experience. Things will be different from now on, and Congresswoman McCarthy, in her very moving statement, cited what had happened to her as a result of a similar occurrence, and I hope that, because you have undergone this experience, you have a special understanding of the situation, and I hope that you will remain active, perhaps even to the extent of running for office, whether local office, or the Congress.

Following that up, I'm just going to put you on the spot and ask, if you were sitting on this side of the table, and imagine yourself there, and recognizing that the Federal Government is a small part of the total educational picture, roughly 7 percent financially, and that we would have trouble dealing with everything on a local basis, what do you think we can do; if you were sitting in our chairs, what would you do as a member of Congress to try to address the problems that you have experienced and that you see in the schools today? Is there something that we can do, and how can we prioritize to have the most impact for our efforts and for our dollars? I'll throw it open to any of you who want to respond.


Mr. Campbell. I don't really think there is much you can do without totally making school systems like a prison, because you have to give teens some freedom, and I just really don't see any other way to totally stop all the violence without totally making school systems like prison.


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you. Anyone else? Mr. Atteberry?


Mr. Atteberry. I think we should give, at least, more money to the schools so they can do certain kinds of programs to help around the students, and right now we have people we hired to go around the halls and make sure there aren't any students that are not supposed to be roaming around the hall, because if they get kicked out, they are supposed to go to the office and talk to our principal or vice-principal or to our counselor, also.


Ms. Moriarty. I would say try to set up some sort of correspondence thing with your schools, because I think the students want to be involved. I know in my experience, there are a lot of kids really worried about the violence just as much as any adult is, and are willing to do something about it. So, I understand that you guys can't just stand up here and tell what the whole country can do in every little town in every little place everywhere, but maybe if you set up some sort of system where you had kids in the different counties report to you or do something, to keep in contact with you to let you know what is going on, what is really happening inside the schools. That will give you a much better idea.


Mr. Ehlers. Thank you. Anyone else?


Ms. Wheeler. If I were on the other side, first I would pass laws for handgun control. I think that is a very important issue. There are a lot of guns on our streets. Help regulate the sale of guns to young people under the age of 21. Also, 7 percent is not enough money. Being on the school board, they beg the city and State government for money, and that shouldn't happen. Money should be readily available for our disposal.


Mr. Ehlers. Anyone else? Thank you all very much. I appreciate your comments. I would point out, incidentally, that I was a nerd when I was in school, too, and I was picked on as well. Now I'm in Congress, I'm still a nerd, still carry my pocket protector, and I'm still picked on by my colleagues. They all respect me, but they still pick on me. Thank you very much.



Chairman Castle. Thank is correct. We respect Mr. Ehlers greatly, but we do pick on him occasionally. Ms. Woolsey?


Ms. Woolsey. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I'd like my Congressman to know, Mr. Ehlers, that we love you; we don't pick on you. We try to celebrate our diversities around here, and we could be an example of how to do that. Being different adds to the pot and the balance, versus being all the same.

Just about everything has been said, but everybody hasn't said it. So, I'm going to go off on a little bit different tangent. First of all, I want to tell Ms. Wheeler that, when she runs for President, I'm going to vote for her.


And then I want to tell all of you that you have been magnificent. I am so proud of you, and you give me such great faith in our future, because you are our future. I want to talk a little bit about, first of all, that we're listening, finally, to the people most involved.

And, I want to go into why there is so much frustration and so much anger and violence. I believe it starts much younger than teenagers, and I'd like you to think about that with me, and talk about how we can show young people that we care about them so that when we don't to listen to them, I believe they're very hurt in their younger years, and in order to live with that, they become really angry by the time they're in middle school, and furious or violent by the time they get to high school.

So, what is missing in the big picture, before high school, so that young people can have self-esteem and feel good enough about themselves that somebody can tease them and they're not going to go shoot them? Is it before school, after school, nutrition program? I think somebody over here wants to_


Mr. Keene. I think one the main things is a lack of family structure. Every since both parents work outside the home, a lot less time has been devoted to their children. I think God is the most important thing that we can look for in this Nation. I think our jobs and money have become our God, instead of taking care of our children and seeking what God wants us to do, I think--


Ms. Woolsey. Let me interrupt just one minute. I'm hearing that, and you're very clear. But, often if kids have two parents, then they are probably both working, and quite often they only have one parent. Because this is the Education Committee, talk to me about what you think the role for education would be to fill that gap. We can't say parents go out and do that when we aren't providing them with the support system to make it even possible most of the time. So where can schools fill in? Ms. Wheeler, can you tell me that? Where do you think?


Ms. Wheeler. Schools can fill in, as I mentioned in my testimony regarding latch-key kids, that time between 3:00 when school may let out, and 7:00, when the parents comes home. That is constructive time that the community can get involved, as far as funding from the government to have after-school programs. So these students feel like they belong somewhere instead of out on the street, out on the corner. A lot of times, as you know, parents are working a lot of the time, or grandparents, and other than that, emphasize a community environment in the school, and a safe environment.


Ms. Woolsey. We passed, in this Congress, laws that make is possible for older teenagers to be eligible for snacks at these after-school programs, now. So, Ms. Williams, would you like to respond to my question about where schools could fit in?


Ms. Williams. Well, I think that teachers should be more available after school. I know at my school, I can go in and talk to my principal if something is bothering me. I can go in and talk to my guidance counselor if something is bothering me. I talked to my teachers, my friends. Teachers have to be willing to just sit and listen to the students' problems, and, sometimes, just by listening, that student will feel better, and they won't have all of that anger built up inside of them.


Ms. Woolsey. How about the little kids?


Ms. Williams. Little kids, I think are just learning how to express how they feel, and you have to teach them a constructive way of expressing their feelings and have different after-school programs for them, because that is an important time in their lives where they are developing their social skills and everything like that.


Ms. Woolsey. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Ms. Woolsey. We appreciate your questions. Mr. Tancredo?


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A number of ideas have been quoted that would all revolve around what we could do inside of the school building to make it secure. Of course, metal detectors being one that everyone talks about often. Video cameras inside. These are the physical plant changes that I'm going to ask you about here, not just all of the cultural changes that we are all hoping can go on.

But, I'm interested to know how each of you would feel about that, would you be more comfortable, feel more secure? Because one of the things that I have heard often since Columbine is that many students are afraid to go back into their building, and it is not just Columbine that we are talking about, any building, because of the trauma of what happened there.

So, we're trying to work through what we can do, here, certainly, but also on the State and local level, what we can do to make students feel more comfortable and more secure about going back into a classroom. How do you feel about the possibility of introducing things like metal detectors and video cameras and various other mechanisms into the school that are designed to reduce the possibility of anybody bringing guns or any other kinds of harmful instruments into the school? Mr. Campbell?


Mr. Campbell. I don't really feel like videocameras would helpt, because my school did have surveillance cameras. I think metal detectors would probably make students feel a lot better, and probably just more security in the schools, like guards, or police officers.


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you. Mr. Keene, how would you feel about that?


Mr. Keene. Well, some of the kids at Heath are against metal detectors because we're out in the middle of nowhere. We see metal detectors as a threat of our way of life almost in some cases. It is almost a reminder sometimes, so some would be against it.


Mr. Tancredo. Do you know if students, your colleagues, feel frightened about going into a building?


Mr. Keene. Yes, I'm frightened to go in the building.


Mr. Tancredo. Pardon me?


Mr. Keene. I'm frightened to go in the building.


Mr. Tancredo. But you would not feel uncomfortable by having to go through a metal detector?


Mr. Keene. No.


Mr. Tancredo. Ms. Williams?


Ms. Williams. I, personally, would have no problem with having metal detectors in our school if, in the long term, it stopped a death. Then I think it is worth it.


Mr. Atteberry. I'm not afraid to go to school, because death happens and it happens anywhere, at school, anywhere, here somebody could die. Death could happen anywhere. I live one day at a time, and, yes, I do believe we should have more metal detectors and stuff, but I know that some of the kids will not agree with it. They don't want to go through_


Mr. Tancredo. Yes. Ms. Moriarty?


Ms. Moriarty. It seems like metal detectors would help some, but there are ways to get around that. It is not like you can't bring other things into the school that you could use in violent ways. In know at Sherwood, with the recent bomb scares, we've done things like all guests have to check in, every door except the front door is locked after a certain time, after 3:00 you have to be escorted by a teacher, things like that, where it is a little bit of an inconvenience, but it does bring a feeling of security to the students.


Mr. Tancredo. Security, yes.


Ms. Moriarty. I think that was really helpful, especially on May 10, when we did have the big scare.


Mr. Tancredo. Okay.


Ms. Wheeler. As Ms. Moriarty said, students do get around them eventually. I see that as a short-term solution. My fear is that at first there are metal detectors and surveillance cameras, and will it soon turn to police in the schools? I don't think that students should feel like they are in a jail. I really think that that is sad that we have come to the point where I feel like I'm in a jail in the learning environment. I think that can be intimidating, but that is seen as a short-term solution, I think, if we were to test to see if it would work.


Mr. Tancredo. Okay. Last question and we'll go through as quickly as possible. Often, I hear that these students, not just Klebold and Harris, but all of the students who have participated in this kind of violence have made their threats known, that other students in the school have heard them, they've heard about them, that some rumor has been around. I'm wondering, did you know, did you hear anything, and have you ever heard anything about a rumor about another student who is possibly going to do something violent? If you have, did you do anything about it, and if you didn't, how come? What prevented you from telling on them?


Mr. Campbell. I didn't hear anything about mine.


Mr. Tancredo. Oh, I guess we're out of time.


Chairman Castle. Does anyone else want to add to that?


Mrs. Roukema. Excuse me. Would the young man repeat his answer? We could not hear it.


Mr. Campbell. I didn't hear anything about the Columbine shooting.


Chairman Castle. Does anyone else wish to respond to that?

[No response.]

Thank you very much, Mr. Tancredo. Mr. Wu is next.


Mr. Wu. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no questions other than to thank the students for coming, and to say that I look forward to seeing you or other very similar students in your schools, because I think that showing up is a big part of the job. Thanks.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Wu. Ms. Roukema?


Mrs. Roukema. Yes, I don't know quite how to ask this question, but I do appreciate the particular experience that all of you have had, and particularly, Mr. Keene and Mr. Campbell, because they directly were involved in a shootout, a murderous, treacherous, situation.

When I heard your response to Congressman Tancredo that you didn't anticipate any of this, well, of course, you couldn't have anticipated this terrible murderous situation, who would have, in either of your situations. That would have been beyond belief. However, you did, I think, all of you, in one way or another, and particularly, Campbell and Keene, mention cliques and the anger that was expressed, and the fact that these particular individuals did show a lot of anti-social behavior. I guess I want to ask you, don't you believe that, in terms of the school situation, whether it be teachers or, more specifically, guidance counselors, and maybe psychological counseling -- somebody mentioned group counseling in your earlier discussion -- wouldn't you have thought that this should be available to all students so they can work out their problems, whether it is the clique problem or the more dangerous symptoms that these young men displayed, that were clearly on display, or do you not have any sense of that within your own school system?


Mr. Campbell. We do have counselors at our school, but I don't really think that they would go to a counselor because they wouldn't admit that they have a problem.


Mrs. Roukema. Well, then, let us ask the question the other way. Would you think that it should be the counselor's problem to reach out to the student and the families? We were talking, quite correctly, about family and parental responsibility here, and yet, I have heard from parents that there is a sense of confidentiality; that the guidance counselors and some other school people are not confiding with families, or bringing the parents in, and frequently the parents are ignorant of the school situation. I'm just asking you what your experiences have been.


Mr. Campbell. I definitely think the counselors should reach out to the students who seem like they have a problem, but, there are just so many students, I don't see how they could get to all of them.


Mrs. Roukema. All right. Thank you. And, Mr. Keene, do you have a further comment, particularly with your traumatic experience there? You had a situation where murder was done right before your eyes. Those individuals that performed that murderous act, do you think there should have been a reaching out to them and their families, or don't you know?


Mr. Keene. I don't really think anybody really notices. I mean, there are weird kids all around. I mean, how are you supposed to tell, really, whether somebody is going to do this; you never really know.


Ms. Roukema. Well, I think the next panel may be able to enlighten us as to how you are supposed to tell, but you'd like to think that, if there were ways to tell, that somebody would do it. I guess one of the reasons I'm saying this is, I want the panel to know, and anybody else that wants to comment, too, you've always had cliques and you have always had people that, you know, get angry with each other and, you know, do weird things. But, how do you deal with that? We have never had this kind of level of resorting to this kind of violence before, and I'm afraid it is becoming contagious.

Anyone else want to comment on that aspect of it?

[No response.]

All right, thank you very much.


Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Ms. Roukema. And Mr. Roemer is next.


Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I appreciate your having the hearing. And I want to echo my colleagues' comments about how brave and courageous and helpful all of the panelists have been today. We really appreciate your insight and your sensitivity and your concern to try to help us figure out this problem.


Ms. Moriarty, I don't think anybody could have said it better than you said it. I think in your testimony you said, "It is hard to decide how to legislate this, and we're not sure what to legislate; what is short term and what is long term, and how you legislate some of this."

I had a meeting with several of my principals and superintendents and teachers about three years ago. And I asked inner-city principals and small town, rural farm-oriented principals in Indiana, "What's the single biggest problem we face in some of our schools today?" And every single one of them, inner-city and small farm town communities said the same thing. I was surprised by that. And they said consistently that the biggest problem in our schools today is the number of children coming to school with family, psychological, and social problems. And those problems come into the school: from family, from violent situations, from hatred. And we're seeing some of those things erupt in our schools.

And we want to try to help you, we want to try to help other teachers, we want to help our families, solve these problems.

Some of this cannot be legislated. I think Mr. Campbell or Mr. Keene said, "Only God can turn hearts."

Can't we all try to turn some hearts in our own way? Can't we all try to be involved parents in the schools? Can't we all try to stand up and say, when we hear one person just tearing at another student, and being derogatory and mean, can't we stand up and say, "That is wrong."

We don't care if you are a nerd, or a jock, or a computer geek, or whatever the terminology is, it is wrong to give those children, those students, your colleagues, such a hard time in those instances.

I want to ask a couple of questions. Ms. Williams, you said your dad spent the night at the high school when there was a threat of a bombing. How many other parents were with your dad staying overnight at that high school?


Ms. Williams. I don't know exactly how many, but I think there was a good number there that spent the night.


Mr. Roemer. Ms. Williams, what do you think, without trying to put you too much on the spot, what do you think is the biggest problem or the biggest three problems: parental involvement, media violence, guns? How would you characterize the problems in schools today, and what are the top three or four solutions?


Ms. Williams. First of all, I think that parental involvement is pivotal in every child's life, whether they want to admit it or not. Without your parents, you really -- those are the backbone, they are the backbone of your support.

I also feel that what most teens and young children are lacking is a faith in God. And whether you are Atheist or you are Muslim, or whatever, people need to have faith. And I choose to have faith in God. And that is important for how you are going to turn out when you get older.

And also, the availability of handguns is extremely important. I feel that-


Mr. Roemer. What year are you, Ms. Williams? Are you a senior or a junior?


Ms. Williams. Yes, I am a senior.


Mr. Roemer. And are they more available? In my community guns are available, and I'm a supporter of Second Amendment rights, but I also think there should be controls. I have met with a group of students at a high school the other day, and they said that guns were not so much more prevalent, but they were easier to get to, laying around the house. How would you categorize it?


Ms. Williams. I think that guns in young people's hands -- they shouldn't just have guns. There is no reason why a young person should have a gun, period. I think that I don't personally go out looking to buy a gun. And, most people I know, their parents do have a gun. And I feel that this presents a problem; because if a child is around and there is no one else there, they can find that gun and that just presents a horrible situation to put the parents in if the child decides to play with that gun and it goes off and they are killed. So, I just don't think that guns should be given or even be in the same homes with children.


Mr. Roemer. Thank you, Ms. Williams. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Roemer. Mr. Johnson.


Mr. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

You all have all been talking all around the subject, and I would like to face it head-on. Do any of you feel like that, because moral and spiritual training has been removed from your schools, that had an effect on you? Not having the Ten Commandments in view, for example? Mr. Campbell.


Mr. Campbell. I really don't think that that would have an effect because, if a student does not believe in God, then, you can't force him to do so. So I think he would want to rebel against that even more.


Mr. Johnson. Do you have a comment, Mr. Keene?


Mr. Keene. I think it would have an effect, just simply because, even if the case may be if you didn't believe in God, those are what this Nation is built on. I mean, just because you are not a Christian doesn't give you a right to go out and steal something from a store; it doesn't make you exempt from that. So, I mean, do you understand what I am trying to get at? I mean, even if you are not a Christian, they are still the backbone of what our society is built on and that still should be respected and displayed in our public high schools.


Mr. Johnson. Thank you. Yes, that is the backbone of the country, all right. Ms. Williams.


Ms. Williams. You don't have to be a Christian to have good moral values. You don't have to be a Muslim to have good moral values. Morality is something everyone should have. And I feel that by teaching morals doesn't mean that you have to teach Christian values. It is something that kind of just goes hand in hand. You don't have to have your Ten Commandments on the wall. But, commandments we use every day: ``Thou shall not kill; thou shall not murder; thou shall not steal.'' It is just something that all of us are faced with every day. And morals are what makes us who we are.


Mr. Johnson. Well, how do we keep people from killing and stealing, then? In the instance, in your school, how would they teach that?


Ms. Williams. I think it starts younger than high school. Like, the first five years of a child's life are the most important years, and that is when parents and teachers should get involved. There is no way to tell if this person will be a killer, or this person will be really good throughout their life. It is just being there for that person and doing all that you can.


Mr. Johnson. Thank you. Did any of the rest of you have a comment on that?


Mr. Atteberry. I don't really believe in religion very much. But, I mean, there are certain things that can happen and certain things that can't. But I do believe a little bit on certain aspects, but I don't think it will have very much good effect around schools a lot of times.


Mr. Johnson. Well, in your opinion, how would you teach kids not to use a gun in a school situation or around you?


Mr. Atteberry. I would mostly teach them reality: what can happen, what happens mostly, and certain topics like the shootings. Show them what can happen if you were shot, or if you were the person. I mean, if you go to jail, for how long, or execution. Also get to the victim's point of view.


Mr. Johnson. I know it is traumatic for you all to talk about some of these things. You know, having been in two wars myself, I've seen people killed for a reason. There really isn't any reason in your cases.

Do any of you have any experience with the advent of drugs causing some of these problems? None of you have talked about that except in just passing. Let's start with Ms. Moriarty.


Ms. Moriarty. I think drugs are a problem in schools today, I guess, because, I mean, you can pretty much get them if you want them. But I don't really see a correlation between the drugs being involved with these sort of violent acts. I mean, while those students may or may not participate in drug-related activities, I think they could with or without drugs. I don't think that is what led to it.


Mr. Johnson. Do all of you agree with that, generally speaking?


Mr. Atteberry. Yes.


Mr. Johnson. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Johnson. Mr. Romero-Barcelo.


Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank you for having this hearing which has been so important to all of us, and I would like to thank all of the witnesses for coming here today and for speaking to us on the critical issue of school violence. And while I am sure that it is extremely difficult for all of you to recount the painful memories of your experience with the violence in your own schools, I hope you realize that your impressions are invaluable for those of us here today who have been fortunate not to have a similar experience befall ourselves or any of our loved ones.

You come here before Congress as we try to make sense out of these tragedies. So that we can try to determine what steps, if any, we may take to prevent such events from happening again. We realize that the cause of needless acts of violence is complex and something that we cannot fully comprehend. We also know that the most important steps to curb and prevent such acts must be taken by the local communities across the country.

What we hope to do here in Congress is to provide the necessary resources to assist the local jurisdictions in taking necessary steps to prevent tragedies on the scale that you experienced from happening in their schools. The firsthand accounts and recommendations that you are providing today will be invaluable information for school officials, legislators, and government officials throughout the country.

I want to express my gratitude to all of you for taking the time and summoning the courage to come before us today and recount your experiences. The people I in Puerto Rico represent have taken a deep interest in the issue of school violence, and I know that I speak for all of them in wishing you and your fellow students and the members of your community our heartfelt wishes in overcoming the tragedy that has befallen you.

Now, I would like to begin by asking something about discipline and loving care. My experience as a parent, which I believe is the experience that most parents have had, and I think that many psychologists, psychiatrists, and educators support is the almost magic formula to keep children and adolescents free of violence is a good balance of loving care and discipline. If you are able to provide the proper balance of loving care and discipline, you will very, very seldom have problems, unless there is something basically and fundamentally wrong, such as an illness that the child or the adolescent has.

Now, I would like to ask, start asking with Adam Campbell and going over to Anita Wheeler in a line, in each one of your schools, did you notice where you felt that you had from the principal and the others in the school the proper balance of loving care and discipline? Or do you think we are missing one or the other? And if so, which one do you think you were missing?


Mr. Campbell. I thought in my school that it is pretty balanced because I know my principal, and he cares a lot about the students. And he disciplined them also when the time was appropriate. So, I think there is a good balance of both.


Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Obviously, you don't think there is a correlation between what happened and a need for more discipline, or more love and care?


Mr. Campbell. No, I think it is more of acceptance as students.


Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you. How about you, Mr. Keene?


Mr. Keene. I believe, also, there is a good balance of discipline and love in our school. I think, you know, when the kids needed to be disciplined, they were disciplined, but at other times we got along with the staff. They have a great staff at Heath.


Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Mr. Atteberry?


Ms. Williams. At my school, I feel that there is a good balance between discipline and love and care. I am able to talk to my teachers, and if I am doing something wrong, they will stop me and tell me.


Mr. Atteberry. Our school, we do love, but we learn not to do certain things because we were taught not to do it. And if we do it, then we get our just reward for just doing something wrong.


Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Ms. Moriarty.


Ms. Moriarty. I think that we have kind of taken the stance lately that we don't want to make the child feel bad any more. In Montgomery County, we call it "success for every student." And while it is good in a way, it is also harmful because we do not want to, "Oh, let us not put the child in detention because that might make him unhappy." We want to keep him happy. We want to make sure everyone is having a good time. And I think less attention needs to be focused on having a good time and more attention needs to be focused on giving the teachers control of the classrooms, because in a lot of classrooms, I mean, kids will talk back and disobey and they are not afraid of getting expelled. They are not afraid of getting suspended anymore. So there has to be some other way to keep them in line.


Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Anita.


Ms. Wheeler. There is a balance with administration, students, and I feel like I'm in a sisterhood at my school, and the family environment is definitely used and implemented in my school.


Mr. Romero-Barcelo. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Romero-Barcelo.

I am going to strike a deal here. We'll see how this works out. Let me explain the problem to everybody here. We have some witnesses, some here and some in the next panel, who have come from afar and have to get planes. And if we don't get to the next panel soon, we're going to start to run up against their having to leave. On the Republican side we have Mr. Souder, Mr. Graham, Mr. DeMint, Mr. Upton, Mr. McIntosh, Mr. Hilleary, and Mr. Fletcher. On the Democrat side, we have Mr. Ford, Mr. Kucinich. Mr. Hinojosa, and Mr. Payne are not here right now. If you are willing to suspend your questions, I certainly will go in that order and have you ask questions first on the second panel. But, if there is somebody here who feels compelled to ask questions of this panel, I don't want to deprive you of that. So, that is the deal I am trying to strike. You are next anyhow Mr. Souder, so let's take your questions. We have sort of half a deal; Mr. Ford has a question and Mr. Payne has a question. Mr. Souder is going to ask his questions. Mr. McIntosh will tell us whether he is satisfied with those questions, and Mr. Upton has something which he wishes to say, but you all understand the problem. We do want to get to the second panel, so please try to help me, if you would. Then let's go to Mr. Souder now.


Mr. Souder. First, just for the record, I wanted to check, Mr. Campbell, are pipe bombs legal at your school or in Colorado?


Mr. Campbell. No, they are not.


Mr. Souder. Because we have heard a lot about guns being legal, but, in fact, pipe bombs aren't, and he used pipe bombs. In Oklahoma City we saw fertilizer explode the Federal building there. It isn't necessarily that easy.

Was there a guard at the door?


Mr. Campbell. Yes, there was.


Mr. Souder. Do you have a screening facility that you go through for weapons or anything?


Mr. Campbell. No, we just have a full-time sheriff at our school to just make sure things go all right.


Mr. Souder. Your case illustrates how complicated the problem is.

I had some very particular questions for Mr. Keene. And, I express first my sympathy for your brother. One of the great things about the Christian faith, although some may feel that is not something we should stress, is you know where he is today and he is with the Lord. And that is a tremendous satisfaction.


Mr. Keene. He didn't die.


Mr. Souder. Oh, he just was wounded? Sorry about that. Didn't mean to go farther. But, you know, it was earlier played down about that commitment. And that commitment is important.

And what I particularly wanted to get to you is that you said that, and earlier it was mentioned by Mr. Greenwood, that there is harassment often of race, of sexual preferences, and so on. We are having a debate right now about whether there should be protection for those who are harassed for their religious views. You said that when you went back to the school and you gathered again for the prayer group, kids were laughing at you and mocking you.


Mr. Keene. I actually said "lobby was laughing at us," as a metaphor.


Mr. Souder. I misunderstood your point.


Mr. Keene. Well, actually, usually there weres kids, before the shooting happened, who used to make fun of us. Michael was part of that group who used to giggle at us as we prayed. He would mock us, you know, and, yes, I think there should be laws, or whatever should protect religious rights at school, too.


Mr. Souder. Similar things certainly showed up in the media relative to Columbine about the kids being harassed by the shooters for their religious beliefs. Had you ever felt any animosity anywhere? It was more just joking-type things?


Mr. Keene. Well, I mean, joking about religious faith isn't really -- I don't take it as just a joke. It kind of hurts your feelings, you know.


Mr. Souder. In other words, some kids were called weird who were the shooters in a number of the schools. Do you feel that some people called you weird because of your religious faith?


Mr. Keene. Yes, I do believe.


Mr. Souder. I was concerned, Mr. Atteberry, when you said, regarding a couple of questions, you said you didn't particularly have a religion, and you also suggested that the way you would teach some of the values would be basically self-interest. Does that bother you, that the only conditions would be, rather than what is based on what is best for you, and the reaction might be to you, if you steal or kill, as apposed to thinking of a higher plane than that?

And, Mr. Campbell, if you have a comment on this, too? You seem to have almost a, "Hey, there is not much we can do." I think Mr. Atteberry said, you know, boy, kind of "que sera sera," what will happen. And you don't give much hope that you can reach the high-risk kids.

No further comments with that?


Mr. Campbell. Can you repeat the question?


Mr. Souder. You earlier, several times, had said that you didn't believe there was much hope. And it seemed to almost be, and Mr. Atteberry was expressing kind of a similar feeling of, "Hey, these things are going to occur. There is not much can be done. Can't really be done in the school; can't really be done in the family; can't really be done with a lot of the different things."


Mr. Campbell. I think it can be done in the family. I do think that, but I think the major problem is acceptance.


Mr. Souder. And I want to follow up, if I can, on one other thing that Mr. Johnson did. Seventy-one percent of those who committed homicides in New York State, when they checked it, had marijuana in their system at the time, and had taken marijuana within the last 24 hours of the murder.

In Indiana a number of schools had put in drug testing and alcohol. Forty percent of the kids who had been suspended, when they tested them had drugs or alcohol in their system at that time. We have seen a dramatic rise in drugs, particularly in marijuana, in junior high and high school. When I have been to schools all over my district for the last four years, it is real interesting, the kids who don't have the drug problems don't favor drug testing. But, the kids who have had the drug problems often will say, "That is the only thing that got me straight."

Now, there has been kind of a pooh-poohing of this problem, and yet much of the interrelationship of drugs and guns seem to be interrelated. Do you have any further insights into that? It was just almost silence when Mr. Johnson asked the question.


Chairman Castle. One person can give a brief answer, if anybody wishes to try to handle that.

[No response.]

If not, we will move on. Mr. Ford.


Mr. Ford. I am going to try my hardest, Mr. Chairman, just in light of what has been said. I thank all the witnesses for coming.

I am young like you guys. I am not much older. I recall being in high school, and recall being angry at times in elementary and junior high school. We have heard a lot of talk here on the panel.


Chairman Castle. Is that a reflection on the rest of us here, Mr. Ford?



Mr. Ford. I just happen to be younger than most of you guys here on the panel.



Mr. Ford. Ten years ago I was a senior in high school. When I talk about young, notwithstanding the camaraderie here on the panel, I remember being angry at times in school. But, I also remember not having access to perhaps firearms and access to other things that would allow me to really act out and perhaps manifest my anger at, or direct my anger at, some of my friends, or even teachers for that matter.

I have really a two-part issue; and I have heard the talk about Christianity. I am a Christian. But God also teaches us to act when we have the tools with which to act. And we are receiving evidence; we are receiving fact after fact, data after data, suggesting that perhaps we ought to act.

I appreciate Ms. Moriarty and others who have commented. And certainly the school board member_I look forward to supporting you one day, and hope that you select me as your running mate, when you decide to run for President, Ms. Wheeler.

You have indicated that legislating is difficult; it is hard. But nothing we do here is easy, I say to my colleagues, if it was easy, they wouldn't have us here. You wouldn't have wanted the job. None of us would have wanted this job. It is a difficult job. There are difficult choices and decisions that have to be made.

I am a Christian. God has given me a chance to do what I am doing. I go to church every Sunday, but also realize that I have to do things with my Christianity. I can't just say my morality teaching, my faith-based teaching should help me to do this and force me to do this. God wants me to act in certain ways.

Ms. Wheeler, you have talked about it so eloquently, how we cannot realize it, how we overlooked the fact that, no matter how angry these kids were in Columbine and Jonesboro, which is 70 miles from where I live, they couldn't have shot their classmates if they didn't have access to guns, regardless of how you look at it. I grew up in a gun culture. We shoot beer cans off of stuff. We go hunting. But the reality is, you can't shoot people unless you have a gun.

We should not be afraid to act here in this Congress. Ms. McCarthy, who is our most powerful and eloquent spokesperson on this issue, even greater than the President and others in the Senate and the House, tells us over and over again how we address this issue, but we refuse to deal with the reality here, no matter how angry you get.

I understand what Mr. Campbell is saying, and please, those on this panel, don't think he is throwing his hands up in the air when he is saying that, you know, "There is nothing we can do." Or when Mr. Keene says, "Look, kids get angry." You responded to one of my colleagues, "Kids are always harassing one another." That happened when I was in school. That happened even when these old folks were in school up here on this panel.


But the reality is, they didn't have access to guns.

I agree that the Internet played a role in this, and movies. I am a Democrat, but I am an American first. The entertainment industry needs to be brought before the committees, and before the White House, and before folks, to answer to why they produce these violence-saturated products. We have to look at how we police the Internet. But we shouldn't be afraid to act here in this Congress.

I have heard from all of you guys -- the courage, the bravery all of you have shown -- staggering. I hope that, through osmosis, we get it here on the panel, and we can send it to our friends in Hollywood, on this side of the aisle: and those guys can send it to the folks in the NRA; and do what is right for you, and do what is right for our future.

And you all have made a lot of comments. And I am curious to know, we saw what happened in Port Huron, Michigan, where the young people actually revealed to authorities what some of their classmates were talking about doing: blowing up the school and going on a shooting rampage somewhere.

My heart and blessings and condolences go out to you, Mr. Campbell, and to all in the Columbine and Littleton community.

But to the extent that I can talk about it without conjuring up those images, how many of you are unafraid? If you were to hear, Mr. Keene, something in the high school or something in the junior high school, other classmates talking about this, would you be willing to disclose and sort of divulge this information to authorities? Because we are debating as to whether or not we ought to fund police hotlines and weapons hotlines, and some folks say it won't work, some folks say it does work. I would be interested to hear from those on the frontline. Would you be willing, if confronted with what you believe, Mr. Atteberry, what you believe, Ms. Williams, to be pretty convincing evidence that someone was planning to do something outrageous, like we have seen in other places around the Nation, would you be willing to tell the authorities? And do you think your classmates_ clearly you have demonstrated bravery and courage by being here -- would you believe your classmates would be willing to do the same thing?


Ms. Williams. I personally would be able to stand up and say what a person was going to do if it was going to involve others getting hurt.


Mr. Ford. Do you think your classmates would be willing to do the same?


Ms. Williams. I think most of my classmates would be, but there are some who are afraid to even talk about it, because they are afraid that person might come back and get them. And I think that is a reality that all the students need to deal with.


Chairman Castle. Mr. Ford, we must move on.


Mr. Ford. Can I just hear from Mr. Keene on this, because I know he appreciated--


Chairman Castle. Mr. Keene, you must be brief.


Mr. Ford. Do you think your classmates would be willing to -- because you talked about the size of your school when Committee Ranking Member Kildee asked about the size of the school -- tell on somebody, or to "rat" on someone, for talking about these type of things?


Mr. Keene. I think they would, if it was serious.


Mr. Ford. Would you be willing to?


Mr. Keene. Yes, sir.


Mr. Ford. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I didn't mean to mess up your plan.


Chairman Castle. Well, you did. You did, Mr. Ford.


Particularly your comments about age, we need to talk about that after this is all over, but, thank you, sir. Mr. Upton and Mr. McIntosh have brief questions. Perhaps we could handle both comments.


Mr. Upton. I want the record to show that I am actually ten years younger than Mr. Ford.


I appreciate this hearing, too, and sadly, even though this issue certainly has gripped the Nation every which way, I mean, whether it was Paducah or certainly Littleton, we are only seeing an increase. Rather, as we sort of look at a self-reflection, in virtually every community this is the talk. Every community is trying to make sure that history doesn't repeat itself in their community. We saw it happen this last week in Port Huron, my home State, in Michigan. We have seen it in a number of schools in Montgomery County. And I saw a lot of parents that spent the night at that one Montgomery school the night of May 9th, on TV. And we have seen it in lots of high schools in my district. And even as this hearing started today, a pipe bomb was found in a high school parking lot 20 minutes from my home, and the school was evacuated, and it was blown up.

So, it continues. It doesn't go away. And as I think about it, as I talk to superintendents and parents and communities, and I met with about 30 superintendents yesterday in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this is obviously one of the top issues that they are talking about. We have a no-tolerance law in Michigan -- I suspect most States do -- automatic suspension forever.

I have a number of schools with metal detectors, but lots of my schools have 30 or 40 doors. It is almost incomprehensible that you could have a metal detector, or certainly a security person, for every door with the fire code safeties and everything else, and every community has to sort of decide that itself.

But, as I listen to the testimonies, I think about myself first as a dad, second as a Member of Congress. I think about my own involvement with my kids, trying to see sporting events and concerts, helping with homework, attending student conferences, all of those things. It is frustrating to see other parents not taking that same responsibility.

I just quickly might ask, now that we are running out of time in the afternoon, what you students think we could do. What would you like to see happen in your local community, knowing that we are not going to be able to legislate it from here, not on a national level? But what steps should communities take to try to get more parents involved?

As I think about the situation in Littleton, I think it was the Harris family, where a neighbor actually heard, or allegedly heard, the bomb making, made in the garage next door, went over -- I don't know what happened to the parents; I don't know if they were home that weekend, I don't know. But what is it that we can get to try and have parents be a little bit more responsible and caring and understand a little bit about their own family situation? It might help with the schools. Would any of you have any ideas as it relates to your own school community, and maybe even to your own family, as you have witnessed real tragedies that have come about?


Mr. Campbell, do you know anything about this? Is that the right family?

Mr. Campbell. Yes, but I have no clue. It was the right family, though.


Mr. Upton. Do you have any ideas, any thoughts? I mean, is there any linkage, you know, as you think about peer pressure, and a variety of different things that often work? What is it that we can try to help bring the parents into the situation where they might not be there today?


Mr. Campbell. No comment.


Ms. Moriarty. Can I comment on that?


Mr. Upton. Sure.


Ms. Moriarty. I think there is a lot of importance put on the privacy that children need, and I think it is important that parents give their children enough privacy so that they can feel like they can have their own things that their parents aren't involved with. But you can't give your children so much space that you don't know what is going on in their life.

And, even not only your own kids, I mean if you see someone else's kids in the neighborhood doing something that you find suspicious, you know, you need to say something because it is like a community that needs to help raise the kid. It can't be just be the one or two parents, because while they see some parts of it, they don't see the whole child. You know, they don't see them at school. The teachers need to get in there and if they see something wrong, speak up. And maybe it will come to nothing; hopefully, it will come to nothing. But you need to speak up when you do see something, or you notice something.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Upton, very much. We will go to Mr. Payne; then we will go to Mr. McIntosh; then we will go to the next panel.


Mr. Payne. Thank you very much. Let me also commend you all for coming. As a former high school teacher and coach, I spent a lot of time with young people. And I would like to mention that the difference from when I was in high school, like the young man said, when these old people, was the fact that there weren't guns around. If you got angry, the worst thing that could happen was maybe have a fist fight, if that much.

But with the availability of guns -- as you know, there are 235 million guns in this country. There is a gun for about every man, woman, child, and infant in this country. And when the Second Amendment was written, it was Paul Revere riding around on a horse saying, "Come together to keep the British from taking your properties." And during that era, there weren’t AK-47s, and Tech-9s, and clips with guns. When we talk about the Second Amendment, the NRA says that is what it ought to be, and they hide behind the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is totally out of sync with what is going on today. And for people to talk so strongly about the protection of the Second Amendment, when guns are in the hands of the wrong people it is absolutely wrong, and it is totally out of place.

Let me just add one question. I would also like to mention that other people go to heaven too; you don't have to be a Christian. I am a Baptist, and you can't be any more conservative, and I go to church, too, and read the Bible. And we couldn't go to movies on Sunday, and we couldn't cook -- you know how the old Southern Baptist are. But Moslems can go to heaven, too, you know. This is not for you so much, but for some of the other members up here who think you have to be a Christian to go to heaven. Hindus have their Ten Commandments; they pray more than Baptists, as a matter of fact. When I went to school and they said -- and I get in trouble with my Baptist ministers; black Baptist ministers are the most conservative in the world; they want prayer in school. But when I was in school, and we got to a certain part, the Catholic kids didn't say anything; some other kids, the Jewish kids, just sort of were in the corner with their heads down. I didn't even recognize it then; I didn't realize it then, but in a country today as multi-cultural as we are today, how can we say that it has to be a Christian prayer in school, and that is going to do everything right? We have got to come into the new millennium, Members of Congress. Not for you, I have just used about five minutes. But we have to become more understanding of prayer in the school. Like I said, I just think that these things are out of date, even though I support prayer very much.

Thirdly, when this was going on in the urban centers -- I taught at Newark, New Jersey, where there is a high crime rate with a lot of shootings. When this started happening with drive-by shootings, and so forth, they brought in the criminologists and the penologists. And they said, "Three strikes, you are out." They said you know, "Try 12-and 13-year-olds as adults." They said, "Keep them in jail forever, no parole time, 85 percent." You hear it all the time; tough on crime.

I am sad to see what happened, but I am glad that now that this happened in little, rural, white, upper-class towns, we are talking about psychologists and psychiatrists, and talking about trying to engage the young people to see what the problems are.

All we heard was: "Be tough on crime. The tougher you are, the better it is. Lock them up and throw away the key." And it was wrong for those kids and it is wrong for kids of your generation and communities. What we need to do is to find out what the problems are, and what the solutions could be, and we need to continually talk to people like yourselves.

Finally, my brother wanted to introduce a bill into the State legislature -- he is in the State legislature of New Jersey -- that says that mentoring should be a part of the curriculum. Mentoring works. And he got more opposition from the State Board of Education, "Well, mentoring kids in suburb communities, they don't need mentoring. That is an inner-city thing; they are the ones that need a mentor," and so forth.

Let me just ask the question, what do you feel about mentoring and do you think that it is only inner-city kids without a dad that need to have a mentor; or do you think mentoring would have helped with some of the kids in your neighborhood, in your community? Anybody? All of you can try it, in about 20 seconds.


Ms. Moriarty. I have been involved in some mentoring things; reading with elementary school students. And I do think it plays a big part in their life, because they look up to the older kids. I know when I was a young child, and I went with my older sister to go watch things at the high school, I thought "Ah, they are so cool; I want to be like that." And it does play a big part in their life, especially if it is a weekly thing where they get to know you really well and they can trust you, and you are not their parents telling them, ``No, you can't do this.'' You are an outside source saying, ``This is what you should do; this is what is right.'' And even though your parents are telling you to do this too, it is not like I am trying to, like, be your dad, as well, you know.


Mr. Payne. Anyone else about mentoring? Think that it would have helped if somebody was talking to these youngsters, other than their families that they weren't talking to?

[No response.]

All right. Good enough.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Payne. We appreciate that. Mr. McIntosh will be the final questioner of this panel, and we will go right to the second panel.


Mr. McIntosh. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I will try to be quick. Mr. Souder did cover one of the points that I wanted to make about the pipe bomb, and let me reinforce it; that gun control laws didn't work in Columbine, sadly. And we need to find other solutions, including solutions that teach our young people moral lessons of how to treat each other. And if people get hung up on them being Christian, or Buddhist, or Kwanza_think of them as ten ancient principles of how to treat other people. I think those should be taught to our children. And we should teach people not to murder, not to steal, and to treat each other with dignity, some way in our school program.

But my question, the remaining question that I had and wanted to ask of the panelists today -- and I want to thank each of you for coming; you were very articulate, and I know it has been a difficult subject for many of you, especially if you have experienced it in your own school -- is it really normal to expect that somebody, a student, would have all types of weapons in their room, or be building bombs in the garage, and their parents wouldn't know about it? Is that the state of parenting today?

I am a new parent. My daughter is 18 months. So I don't really know what to expect when she becomes a teenager, but maybe we can go down the line. Is that something you find is the normal case, that your parents wouldn't know if you had guns in your room? Mr. Campbell?


Mr. Campbell. I don't see, personally, how their parents couldn't know. Because, I mean, you’ve got like a whole bunch of supplies for making pipe bombs laying around the house. I don't see how you can miss that.


Mr. McIntosh. Mr. Keene?


Mr. Keene. I agree. I really don't see how somebody can just totally miss supplies to make a bomb. It is just too obvious.


Mr. McIntosh. Any of the other panelists? Ms. Williams?


Ms. Williams. I don't really know too much about making pipe bombs, or what materials are required to do it; but, if a student wanted to have a gun, they could easily have one and just hide it in their room someplace because parents usually don't go into their children's rooms. And they usually don't snoop around or look through things like that.


Mr. McIntosh. Thank you, Ms. Williams. That helps me understand. My mom used to go into my room and find things. Occasionally, she would ask me, what are you doing with this? But, yes.


Mr. Atteberry. I know my mom doesn't go through my closet. And I am happy for that, because she would never survive through it. All the stuff would fall on top of her.

I mean, you don't know what you are doing, I mean, once we are born, they don't give you a book about how to parent your children really quickly and easily, or the easy or a hard way. Mostly it is common sense. I mean, you should know it's better not to do certain things and do other things much more, instead of doing the wrong things.


Ms. Moriarty. In some cases, the parents have guns too. So how can they say, do what I say and not what I do. I mean, if they have a gun that they use, whether they use it for protection or not, how are they going to question if their child wants a gun as well?


Mr. McIntosh. Well they presumably would know that children have a gun but think that it is okay if it is for hunting?


Ms. Moriarty. They might know. There are ways_I mean, parents aren't stupid, kids aren't stupid either. If a kid wants to have a gun and have their parents not know about it, there are probably ways that they could go about doing that.


Ms. Wheeler. Realistically, a parent isn’t with their child 24 hours a day. And, as you know, handguns are very small and can easily be camouflaged anywhere in your house. Therefore, realistically, it shouldn't be normal, and I don't like the word normal because I don't think it should be normal, but it is not accepted either. But it is just a way of life and the way things are right now.


Mr. McIntosh. Thank you all. I do appreciate all your testimony today. It has been really helpful to us.


Chairman Castle. Well thank you, Mr. McIntosh. And you all have been wonderful today. We appreciate you coming here. You represent the affirmation of our future hopes and dreams. I hope the whole country will have a chance to hear what you have had to say today.

We really do sincerely thank you very much. And now we have to ask you to give up those seats and let the second panel take its position.


Okay, if we could come back to order. Resume our seats. We will go to the second panel. And, obviously, we apologize. We are running a little bit later than we anticipated. There will be a problem here. A couple of us have to meet with the Secretary of Education. So at some point I am going to get up and leave and somebody else will take my place for at least a few minutes during this hear.

But let me ask first: Is there anyone who has got a scheduling problem in terms of an airplane who is going to have to leave?


Mr. Smith. Yes. My flight leaves at 6:00.


Chairman Castle. All right. Hopefully, you will be okay. I think we can probably then go straight through the panel and then, if you have to leave at some point, let us know and we will go from there.

The second panel usually doesn't have quite as much questioning. So, hopefully, it will be a little bit easier from that point of view.

Let me go quickly to the introductions. The first witness in this panel will be Dr. Paul Kingery. Dr. Kingery currently serves as a director of the Hamilton Fish National Institute on School and Community Violence. Dr. Kingery has extensive experience with school violence from its causes and the methods of preventing school violence. His ongoing research provides up-to-date knowledge on the issue.

And Mr. Steven Curtis Chapman will be introduced by Mr. Hilleary.


Mr. Hilleary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to introduce Steven Curtis Chapman, the second panelist there. He is a fellow Tennessean I am awful proud to have him here today. He is quite an accomplished artist, has a platinum album, is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and was the 1998 gospel male vocalist of the year.

But those are not the reasons he is here today especially. He was also a graduate of Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, where, as we know, violent shootings erupted in 1997. So he has an idea of the horror that went on in Colorado. And due to that, I think, he was able to perform his song, With Hope, and that has been cited as a great contribution to a part of the healing process that they have under way out there in Colorado.

So, I am very proud to have Steven here with us today. Thank you, Mr. Chapman, for being here.


Chairman Castle. And thank you, Mr. Hilleary. We appreciate that.

Our next witness is Mr. Bill Smith. Mr. Smith teaches at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon. Two of his sons also attended Thurston High School. Today he will speak as both a teacher and a parent who was affected by the shooting in the cafeteria. We appreciate your being here, too.

And next is Dr. Jonathan Lane. Dr. Lane taught at Frontier Junior High School in Moses Lake, Washington, at the time of the 1996 school shooting. Currently, Dr. Lane is the principal of another area middle school but next year plans to return to Frontier as its principal.

We believe Stella Francis is here, but is not in the seat right now. And perhaps will be here shortly.

Mr. Tancredo, are you going to introduce Mr. Lyle Welsh.


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, shortly after the tragedy at Columbine High School, I was wandering through the memorial park that had been established and was looking at the various artifacts that had been left there and met Mr. Welsh who came up and introduced himself. I was profoundly moved by his analysis of what had happened.

When I found out that he is the father of two sons who attend Columbine and that his son was caught in the library on the day of the shootings -- he thankfully survived -- I mentioned at the time that if he felt the desire to do so, we would be very happy to have him come today and to provide testimony.

And, as I say, I found his analysis of it to be both compelling and profound. So I am glad to have him here today.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Tancredo. And Ms. Stella Francis has joined us. She is a school psychologist for the Baltimore, Maryland schools. She involves the community in the school district's violence-prevention efforts. And we appreciate her being here as well.

And let us get right down to business. Dr. Kingery, if you are ready to go?




Mr. Kingery. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for inviting me to testify on this topic. I have some more extensive remarks. If I could put them in the record?


Chairman Castle. Yes, if any of you have written comments, they will be, without objection, accepted in the record. And you can summarize your comments or read them as you please. Just try to keep it within the time limit. As you can see, we are running a little bit late. This is a subject of a great deal of interest.


Mr. Kingery. Thank you. Yes, I would like to get you home for dinner too.

During the early 1990's, major organizations, like the General Accounting Office and the National Academy of Sciences noted that most prior efforts to develop school violence prevention strategies had been hastily prepared, implemented for only short periods, and not rigorously evaluated.

These organizations urged that investments be made in rigorous research, development, and evaluation of programs to reduce violence in and around schools. Their recommendation inspired the creation of the Hamilton Fish National Institute on School and Community Violence that I now direct.

And Senator Thurmond and Ham Fish and those from both sides of the aisle were very helpful in setting up the institute in 1997. Hamilton Fish put his last year of his life into this effort, going around saying things like, "I feel like I had raised a daughter and she got a bachelor's and a master's and a doctorate and then didn't go out and do anything with it, when it came to violence prevention."

We put all this effort into it, and there is a lot of money going into it. And where are the solutions? What is being done about it?

So the difference the Hamilton Fish Institute is trying to make is to base programs on what works and why, to cut through the rhetoric and move to the science of what is effective and what makes a difference. We don't have to guess and we don't have to use intuition. There is a science base for this area, and it is very little intoned in the discussions.

We have seen some modest declines in youth violence in recent years. We have noted that schools are safer than the surrounding communities with regard to violence. That may not be true with regard to threats though, harassment, bigotry, and intimidation.

And despite the good news, it seems that many places are not safe. Violence in high schools remains high. Also, middle schools; increasingly, elementary schools, are higher than most people realized, and certainly higher than even the research indicates because of certain biases in doing this kind of research in asking questions about violent behavior.

The high prevalence of fighting at school assures that large numbers of youth will be injured at school due to violence. Youth risk behavior surveys places the prevalence of fighting at school in the past 12 months at 20 percent of boys in high school. Twenty percent of boys have been in a fight in the last year, and 8.6 percent of girls.

Fighting is not an innocuous behavior, nor are emotionally debilitating threats, taunts, sexual harassment, and intimidation of all types that largely go undetected and unaddressed while we look for shootings and other high-profile incidents.

Both are important. We are not adequately even measuring the problem at present. How can we speak with wisdom about something that we don't adequately even measure.

The presence of guns, especially handguns in school, introduce the prospect of sudden lethal violence into the consciousness of all of us. And student fears are on the increase though violence may seem to be decreasing. We are all deeply concerned.

While the fear of gun violence at school is probably disproportionate to the actual probability of those events occurring, it is clear that real reductions in the number of handguns in schools must be achieved if the sense of security is to be restored in the school environment.

Firearm violence in schools threatens the very core of our sense of safety, the sense of parents, of children, and others. It is something so inviolate that you would think a child wouldn't have to fear for their life when they sit down to do their math homework.

Firearms in the hands of unsupervised children who lack adult reasoning capabilities are dangerous. Their use by children requires constant, careful adult supervision. And no child should have easy access, unsupervised access to firearms. Parents take great risk in buying them for unsupervised use by their children.

In a 1996 survey, 50 percent of 10th-and 11th-grade children said that it would be no trouble to get a gun if they wanted to. Half of kids said it would be no trouble; and that is the truth.

Only 16 States require gun owners to store their guns in a manner that prevents children from gaining access -- 16 states. And some cities, in addition.

Firearms in the hands of children at school are even more dangerous. Twelve and a half percent of high school boys surveyed in 1997 said they carried a weapon to school in the past 30 days -- twelve and a half percent. There are a lot of guns in school. More than you may realize; more than the public realizes.

And not only guns, but other kinds of weapons. I have superintendents and principals pull out their drawers and show me a whole array of things that you would never dream that would go into a school.

Since the Gun Free Schools Act was implemented, the myth has been that schools are cracking down on weapons. And as we heard from a Representative earlier, it is a myth_that it is not real. Zero tolerance programs are a smoke screen. They are a political ploy.

That is strong language, but there is very little in the way of teeth in that legislation.

Our best estimates indicate that only about 1 percent of kids who carry a gun to school are expelled for carrying that weapon. And a third of them are back out on the streets or in some other program or sent to another school with no history following them about the fact that they carried a weapon to school.

There are strategies we studied that are effective. There is a comprehensive framework and approach into which those strategies can be enmeshed. There is a technology for this. Let's talk about that technology.

Thank you.

[The statement of Mr. Kingery follows:]




Mr. Souder. [presiding] Thank you. Mr. Chapman, if you go next, you don't have to sing your testimony.




Mr. Chapman. Well, for the sake of redundancy, good afternoon. And my name is Steven Curtis Chapman. I am a singer and songwriter living in Franklin, Tennessee. However, today I come before you not as a professional musician but as a dad, I have three children of my own, who has missed his flight now and is going to miss the little league game tonight. But this is pretty important stuff, so I think my guys will understand.

My heart is heavy with the burden of what is taking place in our culture, and, more specifically, in our schools as it relates to violence. It is an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to speak to you about this issue.

School violence has always concerned me, but it took on a whole new meaning on the Monday morning following Thanksgiving in 1997. My family and I had just returned from my hometown from Paducah, Kentucky, the evening before. I received a call from my dad explaining that earlier that morning a student at my alma mater, Heath High School, had opened fire on a group of classmates involved in an early morning prayer group at the school.

My wife and I returned to Paducah that evening to participate in prayer services that were being held throughout the community. When we arrived, everyone was in a state of shock, and it seemed like an unbelievable dream. By the end of the week, the full extent of the nightmare weighed heavily on a small town that I knew as one of the friendliest places on earth.

I was asked by the parents of the three girls who died in that tragedy to sing at the joint funeral services held for Jessica, Nicole, and Kayce. As one who still feels very connected to that community, I went to the funeral as a friend to grieve with those who were grieving.

But when my wife and I walked in and caught sight of the three caskets covered with flowers and signatures from their classmates, it was the parent in me that became overwhelmed with the impact of this tragedy. If we had stayed in Paducah to raise our family, this could have been my daughter Emily.

Several months later, I returned to Heath High School to give a memorial concert to honor the three girls who died in the shootings there. It was during the process of putting together this memorial concert that an idea was born in the hearts of myself and a filmmaker friend of mine, Ken Carpenter of Franklin Films, to do something more to help in these terrible tragedies.

Working together with my friend Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries and neighbors Who Care, the Crime Victim Ministry of Prison Fellowship, we created what we believed to be a powerful youth violence package called Bulletproof.

Neighbors Who Care president Lisa Lampman, who is here today behind me, provided keen insight on the development of Bulletproof, which consists of a film drama as well as a documentary. These films, which address the issue of school violence in very unique ways, also have accompanying discussion guides to be used in group settings.

And we had planned to show about a two-minute intro of the Bulletproof package. Is that still something we are able to do, have time to do?

[Bulletproof introduction is played.]


Mr. Souder. Mr. Chapman, we will put your full statement in the record. If you want to give a conclusion here, and then we will draw some more out in the questions.


Mr. Chapman. Sure. Yes, to respect the time here.

Obviously, the question we have been asking all day, you know, is what if any is the hope that we can reverse this devastating trend? And I don't believe it will be found necessarily in installing more metal detectors or enacting legislative solutions -- as important as some of these things may be -- but focusing on transforming young hearts and minds, transforming our culture, living as role models ourselves.

The apostle Paul put it this way in the Book of Romans in the Bible when he talked about the importance of honor and respect for one another. He concluded by saying, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

I know this must seem like an overwhelming task at times for you, and there is no power or authority given any man except what is given by his sovereign God. So please know that you are being prayed for in your position of decisionmaking leadership.

Again, thanks for the opportunity to bring this faith-based perspective to this current and continuing issue.

[The statement of Mr. Chapman follows:]




Mr. Souder. Thank you very much.


Mr. Smith.




Mr. Smith. Thank you. I would like to thank Chairman Castle and members of the Subcommittee for giving me this opportunity to talk about such an issue. My name is Bill Smith. I have been a teacher at Thurston High School in Springfield for the last 22 years. I have three boys. They have all gone to school there. The third one will be graduating this year.

I had two boys that were at the school when this happened. Our school is a fairly large school: 1,500 students in four grades. It is a great high school. We have always had a great deal of pride in it; and that is one of the toughest things about this, now, whenever the name Thurston comes up, it is associated with this awful event.

So it has been real tough for me to deal with.

On May 21st of last year, a young freshman student entered the cafeteria, he opened fire on a real crowded cafeteria. It was right before first period started. The student body elections were going to take place that day.

So all were in there campaigning. It was a very festive event. People thought that somebody had gotten a little out of hand, and they thought that firecrackers were exploding.

There was a mass exodus from the cafeteria. I was on my way to class. Kids were frantic, panic-stricken.

When I heard what the situation was, I immediately thought of my sons, and I ran to the cafeteria and was hoping it was a bad joke. When I got there, it was a scene that is real difficult to describe.

The first boy that I came to was my son's best friend. He had been shot three times in the back, and once in the leg. The second boy was Mikael Nickolauson who was lying dead in a pool of blood.

The third boy was the perpetrator. I didn't know that at the time. He was being restrained. So I asked him, you know, are you all right? The person on top of him, which was another teacher, said, he is the shooter.

At that point, I then went through the cafeteria to see if my son had been hit. As it turns out, the young man that he was standing next to shielded him. That boy was hit seven times.

I then searched through the rest of the cafeteria, returned back to my son's best friend, and tried to do what I could for him. He had all internal injuries. So it was a very difficult situation. He miraculously recovered.

There were several kids that tackled this boy and really kept the situation from being much, much worse. If there had been two gunmen, or if he had been able to get another clip in, I am sure my son wouldn't have survived.

I have been struggling the past year to try to make sense of this. And so I am here today to try and share with you some solutions that I think maybe we should look at.

First of all, I might say, I don't think there is any magic solution to it. I think it is going to be a combination of things. We need youth preventative, crime prevention programs. We need increased school security. And we need to stop this access that youths have to guns.

I can share with you several specific programs that we have instituted at our school. We have hired an extra counselor. I don't think you can have too many counselors. We also have a member of the Springfield Police Department stationed at our school as a school resource officer. He is armed, but his primary focus is not on patrolling the school, but on regular communication with students.

The presence of the resource officer at all schools across the country, in my opinion, would be very important.

I applaud any effort Congress can make to help deal with this issue. I believe, generally speaking, we need better communication avenues within the schools and between schools and the community. We need better prevention programs that enable school faculty to identify potentially troubled youth. We need to enact Federal laws to bar the transfer of and possession to juveniles of semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

I ask you, what purpose would a 50-round clip have? Why are we manufacturing those?

We need to impose mandatory background checks and waiting periods on individuals purchasing any firearms. We need to enact laws holding any juvenile caught with a weapon at school for a minimum 72-hour period before releasing them.

As we mark the anniversary this week, the one-year anniversary of the shootings at Thurston High School, I hope that Congress and the Nation can learn from our experience and take steps to prevent further tragedies.

Thank you.

[The statement of Mr. Smith follows:]




Mr. Souder. Thank you very much. Dr. Lane?




Mr. Lane. First of all, unless you have the power to confer a doctorate on me, I am Mr. Lane.


Mr. Souder. Thank you.


Mr. Lane. Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the Committee, my name is John Lane. I am here today representing myself and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. I am currently the principal at Warden Middle School in Warden, Washington.

The reason I am here today to talk to you is because of an event that occurred a little over three years ago in Frontier Junior High School in Moses Lake, Washington, where three people were killed.

I have always said that I would take any opportunity to try and make something positive come out this tragedy. I have been reminded again by the shootings in Colorado, how such a senseless act can impact a community and even a whole country.

The reasons behind these shootings are certainly varied and complex. Solutions are not easy to find. But we need to have communities working together to try to help solve it.

I want to tell you a little bit about my story so you will know where I am coming from.

February 2, 1996, I was teaching down the hall when I heard something unusual. I Didn't know what it was, but I knew it wasn't right. Walked down the hall; as I walked down the hall I heard kids screaming. As I got to the door, I pushed the door open and smelled gun smoke, I knew immediately what had happened.

I dove to the floor and hid behind the teacher's desk. As I lay on the floor behind the desk, I saw Mrs. Caires, the teacher, lying beside me. She had been killed instantly. She still held the eraser and the chalk in her hand. I saw students in various states of shock around the room with death on their face, and I wondered if I was going to be next.

Barry, the student who had fired the shots, was standing in the corner dressed head to toe in black: black trench coat, black cowboy boots, black jeans, and a black cowboy hat. He wore a gun belt and had two guns, handguns with 83 rounds of ammunition, and a white lucky rabbit's foot hanging from his belt.

Barry called my name and told me to stand up; and I told him I couldn't because I was too afraid, and I was. We talked a little bit, and pretty soon he said, if I didn't stand up, he was going to start shooting more kids.

I knew what I had to do. I stood up. And through negotiations, I was able to take three kids out of the room, one student who was a diabetic and kind of shocked, a student who was critically wounded, and a student who was fatally wounded.

Later Barry told me he was going to take me hostage. He was going to put the gun in my mouth and take me out of the room. I told him I couldn't, I was too afraid. And I was.

I was at that time, 4 or 5 feet from Barry, and I knew it was the time that I could take him. I charged him, pinned him against the wall, grabbed his hand on the stock of the rifle. At that time the police came in and the kids went out. It was quite a sight I guess.

I thought a lot about the incident, and I have come to some conclusions about how I acted and why I was able to help end the situation without further harm.

I have always been a wrestler. I believe that that training had helped me to act under a really stressful situations. The many hours I spent on the wrestling mat and in competition, I think, were a good preparation, and I believe that really healthy competition in sports is a positive preparation for life.

Teachers are not taught what to do during a hostage situation in Ed 101. And I don't think in my wildest dreams I thought that sometime during my teaching career I would face a gun in a classroom.

I believe that ordinary people make good choices in their lives and are able to do extraordinary things when placed in a terrible situation. Individuals learn how to make choices through their peers and through the examples of others.

Some of the things I think we need to recognize when someone is in trouble and we need to help him to find help. This is especially true for students. Help may be a family member, counselor, a minister, teacher, policeman, or a professional health-care worker. I believe additional counselors are a very important piece in helping to prevent similar things from happening in the future.

Moses Lake has done quite a few things in dealing with kids and drawing together this community that has been very positive. And I hope that will be entered in the record.

Some of the things, as representing the National Association of Secondary School Principals today, they would like to have stressed is the zero tolerancy concerning weapons in schools, and gun laws need to be enforced and strengthened. Communities and schools must advocate and model to students a core set of values. Schools must personalize the education of each child.

Policies and procedures for addressing violent incidences on campus need to be put in place in each school. Counseling and mentoring services need to be available to all children.

The media and entertainment industry need to accept their responsibility in curbing the portrayal of violent acts as a form of entertainment.

Peer mediation and training should be included in teacher preparation courses, and parents should be trained in violence-prevention strategies.

In conclusion, there is not just one answer but many multiple strategies that are needed to address the issues of school safety. Prevention is the key, whether it be in the form of limiting access to weapons, securing facilities, instilling core values, training school personnel and parents, limiting violent images, or identifying early students at risk.

And the value of our children need to be made a priority to our principals, teachers, students, communities, and government in order for us to prevent future catastrophes.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[The statement of Mr. Lane follows:]




Mr. Souder. Thank you very much. Ms. Francis




Ms. Francis. I was in Colorado during the Littleton shooting. That was the most horrible week I have ever spent in my life. I have been at schools ever since I was 6 years old. I am still in schools, and I work professionally as a school psychologist. And I have done that most of my adult life. I have raised two children, who are now adults and are still in school and who now have children and their own families. I am raising one, my last son, who is also in middle school this year.

After the shootings, all over the Nation, we had all this media attention. May 10 seemed to be a magic date. There were bomb threats almost every day in the school. Kids and administrators were just scared, very scared.

My son pleaded with my husband and myself not to send him to school. But we thought that that would not be the best message to give him, that he should run away, that he should escape. Instead, we talked with him as we would anybody's son, anybody's daughter. We talked with him. We tried to allay fears.

Then I, of course, went to work myself in the school. And one of the teachers, a special education teacher, came up to me and she said, "Did you send your son to school today?" I said, "Yes, I did."

She said, "I sent Michael," her son. I was so afraid. "Weren't you just a little bit afraid? Don't you think that something might happen?"

And as she was saying this to me, I could hear other students who had come to school who were doing things that students shouldn't be doing because I was in an elementary building, not a high school, not a middle school -- pre-K through sixth grade.

When you look at the panel who was here before and you see these nice, polished adolescents, wonderful children -- I go to work every day and I see little kids. I have worked with pre-K on up, but right now my role is working with little kids from pre-K through fifth grade. I see the pain on their faces. I also see the violence that they live with in their homes.

I see them afraid to talk about it. I see them just being afraid sometimes of coming to school. I see them making excuses and projecting blame on other people and on situations. I see them and hear them saying things they have absolutely no business even knowing about at their ages. I see a lot of tragedy.

But fortunately, I am not the only one who sees it. I work with wonderful people, particularly in one of my schools, who have vision and who care about the kids. And because of that, we are all able to come together to put together prevention plans in place.

The school is open only 9, 10 months of the year, just like any other school. However, the school is also open during the summer time. We have programs year-round, including programs where sometimes people volunteer their time because we don't get paid. We do what we can, and we teach children how to problem-solve; we teach children social skills; we try to make them more available for learning; we enhance and elevate little things, like reading appreciation for example.

We have a program right now, right after the announcements, we have 30 minutes reading -- anything you want, reading, within limits. And we also have contributions from people who care about us from the community. We have parent involvement. There are lots of things that are good about the schools. But then there are lots things upon which we need to continue our vigilance for our children's sake, and because they are our future, they represent us. They will be sitting where you are sitting within the next generation.

And it is up to us to help to train them in the way we would want them to train their children.

Thank you.

[The statement of Ms. Francis follows:]




Mr. Souder. Thank you. Mr. Welsh.




Mr. Welsh. Members of the Subcommittee, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for the invitation to come and speak here today. I am one of the Columbine High School parents. My wife, Nancy, and I have been blessed with four wonderful sons, Aaron, a senior, Christopher, a sophomore, and the twins, Sean and Nicholas, who are in the sixth grade. We have been residents of the Columbine community since 1979, and up to this point we felt it was a great neighborhood to raise our children in.

It seems a lifetime has passed with all that's happened to our families affected by this tragedy. And yet it is as vivid in my mind as though it happened yesterday. The grief and sorry of this event affected many students, family, and friends, even directly or indirectly, like a shock wave spreading outward from one of those pipe bombs.

It seemed everywhere we turned we discovered we were touched again by it. My sons Sean and Nicholas have a friend whose older brother Brian was shot in the library. Fortunately, he received only minor injuries. The boy being pulled out of the second-story library window onto the armored truck after being shot was a counselor for Nicholas during his outdoor lab week.

My son Christopher went through school and played football with Matt Kechter, who was killed in the library. Christopher and others fled out of the east entrance of the school to Leawood Park. Students reported bullets whizzing by and hitting the ground nearby. So they ran farther east into the residential area.

Heath Kelly Bergesher was in the commons hallway just outside the cafeteria door when the shooting began. There, she was able to flee down a hallway and later a teacher helped them escape out a side door.

My brother-in-law in Arizona has a college roommate that's a father of one of the girls that tried to help a teacher, Dave Sanders, stay alive. And he died in the company of those students that he loved.

Aaron was trapped in the library with the other students when the two suspects entered to continue their mission of death and destruction. I would like to read a short paper Aaron wrote for his psychology class about this horrific event and what it meant to him. He said:

"Before I can go through what I learned from the tragedy of Columbine High School on April 20, I would like to retrace the incident. When it started, I was in the library doing homework for history class. I was at a desk in the middle section when a teacher came running into the library. She ran behind the desk and told us to get under the desk.

While under the desk, I hear gunshots and explosions in the commons below the library. I looked down the hallway and saw a big flash of light, and then smoke started to come through the hallway. Very soon after, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered the library.

Dylan stopped by the main desk and shot behind it. I don't know if he was shooting at the phone or the teacher. He then joined Eric by the computer desk. Eric lit a pipe bomb and threw it over to the west windows. And explosion blew them out.

They started systematically shooting under desks and laughing at what they had done. They walked across a section that I was in and into the reference section, where they shot more people under the desks.

Eric moved back to the computer desk to reload his shotgun while Dylan came up the middle section and walked by a desk I was under. He never saw me. He rejoined Eric by the computer desk, as he was lighting a Molotov cocktail, threw it one of the desks. I don't think it worked because there was no smoke or fire.

Then he left the library and went down one of the main halls. When those of us in the library decided that they were far enough away, we all got up from our desks and got out the back door, taking the injured with us.

This incident really has not caused me to change my lifestyle, but it has taught me a lot about my family relationships and those with my family and friends.

This tragedy took 15 lives and injured others. Two of those I will not discuss. Twelve lives were students who will not be coming home after school and telling their parents about their day. The 13th life was a dedicated teacher who made sure that the students had a quality education.

And like many others, Eric and Dylan, we never saw them again. After the incident, I had time to reflect on what had happened. I realized that I could be one of those students who didn't make it out alive. When I realized this, I started to wonder about how I would be remembered, how my friends and my family would see my life. Would they say I lived my life to the fullest? Or would they say something different?

This got me thinking about the relationship of my family and friends. I have found that I have become closer to my family and friends. I received calls from many extended family and those other friends of my parents. I have had fellow employees at the grocery store and numerous customers come up to me and give me a hug and ask how I am doing.

Right now, I would not change anything in my life. This incident has taught me about the importance of family and fiends." -Aaron Welsh

To me it seems that Eric and Dylan were disenfranchised from their peers and had no hope. Their sole energy was based on acceptance by peers. Without a set of values and principles, the solid foundation in our lives to guide us, and those transient relationships are like the shifting desert sands.

Is it any wonder that school violence seems to be on the increase when our country is enjoying more economic success, yet it is becoming more spiritually and morally bankrupt.

Thank you.

[The statement of Mr. Welsh follows:]




Chairman Castle. [presiding] Thank you, Mr. Welsh. And thank all of you. And I apologize again. I had to step out. The Secretary of Education is very important to those folks on this Committee. We had to meet with him.

Because I wasn't here, I am going to start with Members who were here. Mr. Greenwood will be first on this side.


Mr. Greenwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me begin with Dr. Kingery. I believe in your comments, sir, that you made references to the fact that, I think you said, ``We don't really study this problem; we don't really research this problem.''

Could you elaborate on that and give me your sense, give the Committee your sense of where the specific lack of study is?


Mr. Kingery. Yes. The studies that are being done are either administrative studies of administrators or studies of opinions of students, self reports of their violent behavior. There is no study on a national level about sexual harassment in schools, threats, intimidation, taunts, and bigotry and that sort of thing at all.

There are several national studies out, and none of them are looking at those things. The other problem is, we are looking at numbers of expulsions for carrying weapons at school, carrying firearms at school. But nobody is asking the question, how many are getting caught. They are just asking how many are expelled.

Well, you don't know what the ratio is. Besides that, when we cross-reference what the kids say about how often they are carrying weapons with how often they are actually being expelled for it, there is a huge gap. Like I say, only 1 percent are expelled.

And one-third of them are either just expelled for less than the one year recommended by the Gun Free Schools Act or else they are just put out on the street, where there are no programs, no alternative-ed things. Now they are angry and they have got a grudge.


Mr. Greenwood. Thank you. I am one who believes there are things that can be done immediately in schools, but I am also one who believes that for the long run, I mean over the next several years, that serious scientific, rigorous, broad national research of these issues is lacking and is something we need to focus on.

And that needs not to be looked at -- that is not a question, do we study this or do we act immediately. We need to do both things.

Let me turn to Mr. Lane. The young man who perpetrated these crimes in your school, I didn't catch his last name. It's Barry?


Mr. Lane. Loukaitis.


Mr. Greenwood. Okay. Did you know him, sir?


Mr. Lane. Yes, I did.


Mr. Greenwood. Could you tell this committee what, if anything, you know about his family situation and his school situation_anything else about this young man's development that would shed light on his conduct.


Mr. Lane. I guess I would preface it first by saying that there are civil suits pending. So I need to be a little bit cautious in what I do say.

I would say the family was dysfunctional. I would also say that there is certainly some indication that there was some harassment of him. He was being picked on. And it is speculated that he did have one specific target when came in the room. Whether he did or not, I don't know. But it was certainly well-planned out.


Mr. Greenwood. And is there anything that you can share with us with regard to, in retrospect, and without any incriminations intended, but in retrospect, the signals that might have been picked up or, perhaps put it in a most favorable light, what signals would you be looking for in the future that you might have seen in this young man?


Mr. Lane. At the time, I was teaching P.E., when the incident happened. And I didn't see the signs in a P.E. class. So would I do anything different? I don't think I would because I don't think I saw any of the signs. Now, would other teachers have done something different? I think we all would do something different just because things are different now. And we all become extensions_


Mr. Greenwood. I don't mean that day. I mean, as you have spoken to the other faculty at this school, what have you learned. Certainly the teachers must sit around in the faculty room and say, you know, that Barry, I noticed this year or last year. Was there not some of that in terms of observations of his behavior that might have been early warning signs?


Mr. Lane. If I understand you, there's a lot of troubled kids, and would you have specifically picked him out? I don't know that you would have or would not have. There are a lot of troubled kids, as was brought up earlier. All teachers, I think, are more sensitive to it.


Mr. Greenwood. In your school, when you see a troubled student, and there are always numerous troubled students, what do you do? Do you say that student needs to see the guidance counselor? Is there behavior that results from seeing troubled students? Or is it just an observation?


Mr. Lane. I think there has to be a multi-faceted approach. Counseling certainly is a very valuable part of that. I think enlisting community resources -- we work real well with the juvenile department, the county juvenile department. And often times, some of these kids who do display some of the discipline problems are linked that way. But in the small town where I am currently teaching_it's a very small town_there aren't as many resources for kids as we would like to see.

I certainly believe, though, that connection with a significant adult who they can trust is very key.


Mr. Greenwood. Thank you. Mr. Smith, did you know Kip Kinkel?


Mr. Smith. I didn't know Kip. I did know the family; both his parents were teachers. His dad was retired and actually teaching at Lane Community College, and his mom was teaching at our sister school in Springfield.


Mr. Greenwood. Well, my time has expired. If there is any light that you could shed on what your observations were of him or his family would be useful.


Mr. Smith. Two loving adults. I think that he did have some depression problems and had been on medication. He did have an obsession with bombs and guns. His dad did think that it was a way of -- his dad did buy him a gun. The kid showed an interest in it. They thought it was something they could do together, and unfortunately, it was used for negative purposes.


Mr. Greenwood. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Greenwood. Mr. Kildee.


Mr. Kildee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am going to direct my question to Mr. Lane. I think you earned a doctorate that day. I taught school myself, so I can really almost envision it. By the way, Speaker Hastert is a wrestling coach himself.


Mr. Lane. I know. I asked to meet him, but he was too busy.


Mr. Kildee. Well, you should meet him. Is the size of a school, particularly a high school, a factor that can contribute to school violence? And let me ask the second half of this question which I also asked of the students, can or should we do something about the divisions or cliques that often exist in high schools?


Mr. Lane. I guess I would, from my perspective -- I'm not an expert, I am just a teacher who had an experience -- but from my perspective, it depends on the culture of the school. If there is a warm, inviting, loving, supportive culture in the school, I think the size becomes less important. But I also believe it is more difficult to maintain that supportive structure when the school does get very large. So it has to be very intentional that the administration and the faculty and the community see that as a priority to establish a real supporting environment in the schools.

As far as cliques go, that is a difficult one. It is hard. I guess one of the messages I always try to talk about when I talk about what happened is, I think you have to teach kids to respect each other. They don't always have to like each other, but they have to respect each other. And respect means you care about them, and you allow them to be themselves.

Now, if there is something dangerous in there, then that is another issue. But cliques, there are jocks and there are cowboys and there are different factions. When they respect each other and they care about each other, then they don't always have to like each other, and they can still exist.


Mr. Kildee. At least respect the differences, right?


Mr. Lane. That is absolutely true.


Mr. Kildee. Dr. Kingery, could you respond to both parts of that question?


Mr. Kingery. I believe that is a critical part of what needs to change about the way we do business in schools, but I am not sure it is how much of it is we need to do it and how much of it students need to do it. I don't believe that you can any longer carry on with the idea that boys will be boys unless you believe that boys will be sexual harassers, boys will be criminals.

And the entry of girls into these phenomena make it even more questionable to make such ideas, you know, prevalent. I believe that the kids that are in cliques, kids that are not in cliques, that are isolated, need to be brought in with constructive activities. We need more counselors, far more counselors. I think it is shameful the small investment that goes into meeting basic needs of kids that have very real problems in school. I am not talking about talk therapy; I am talking about helping a kid with a very critical problem that they are facing, finding the early warning signs, watching out, but using the students as a network.

Administrators can't do this alone. The students know who has got the gun first, and they know who is alienated, they know who is depressed. And very often, the kids know who is on special medication or maybe just needs a little help.


Mr. Kildee. How about the size of the school?


Mr. Kingery. Absolutely. The size of the school is critically important, the science says, unequivocally. Smaller schools, smaller classes, schools within schools, smaller grades -- like ninth-grade standalones as opposed to with the older kids -- those techniques are effective. One important thing they do, the causal mechanism, is that they make sure that the teachers and staff know the names of the kids and are more likely to know the problems that go on there.

And the kids themselves have continuity with one another. So they establish a peer group that allows them to communicate better and help one another with their problems.


Mr. Kildee. Does anyone else on the panel wish to respond to the question?


Mr. Smith. Yes. I don't know if the size of the school is crucial, but I do know that the size of the classrooms is crucial. The less students, you get to know the students better. Maybe some of these things -- maybe we can head it off before it goes down the wrong road.

And I do believe we need more professional staff in schools, and not just people like this resource officer that I was talking about. But we need more counselors, and they need to be doing things other than figuring out somebody's class schedule. I mean true counseling that needs to take place. And that is not possible when you have one counselor for 350 students, which is the case at Thurston High School.


Mr. Kildee. I can recall when I taught, I had one class of 32 students, and for some reason that same year, a class of 19 students. I think I remember all of my students. I can always remember the grades that I gave them. But the class of 19 students, I really got to know them very, very well. And it did make a difference, a great difference.

Thank you very much. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. Chairman Goodling.


Chairman Goodling. Ms. Francis, the first question I would ask you is, do you have any time to do anything other than fill out State and Federal forms for IDEA and things of that nature?


Ms. Francis. Yes. I sure do. I make sure I have the time.


Chairman Goodling. You must have some assistance.


Ms. Francis. No, I don't.


Chairman Goodling. Don't you?


Ms. Francis. No, I don't.


Chairman Goodling. And you can do all of that?


Ms. Francis. I do what I need to do during the school day to make sure that the children are the first priority. If I have to take the work home -- and my family can attest to it -- I am working many more hours when school is open.


Chairman Goodling. Must you fill out, must you be responsible for all of the special ed forms?


Ms. Francis. I am not responsible for all of the special ed. forms. I am responsible for a large share of what goes into special ed., but I am not responsible for all of the special ed. forms. We work with a multi-disciplinary team, and each person on that team is responsible for a piece. And I am responsible for mine.


Chairman Goodling. How many students are you responsible for as a psychologist?


Ms. Francis. As a psychologist this year, I have two schools, and I think my caseload is about one, me, to about 1,100 students.


Chairman Goodling. Eleven hundred students?


Ms. Francis. Yes.


Chairman Goodling. That makes you pretty thin.


Ms. Francis. It makes me pretty thin. The needs of the buildings are different, and the support services in the buildings are different. Some buildings have a lot of support services, and some buildings do not. As I indicated in one of the buildings, I am working very closely with implementing prevention. And we have been doing that since I arrived there last August, and we will continue to do that until they reassign me and I go somewhere else.

But we are working very hard to make sure that we have a preventive culture in the schools. That is very important because everybody who comes into the school, even though they come from a different school culture, whether it is a family or a teacher or a student, they will learn to adapt to our culture and, therefore, they will change some of their behaviors to conform to the culture that we are promoting at the school, which is a positive one, not one where children don't care about other children and teachers only care about their classrooms.

We are trying to promote a culture in the school where everybody is responsible for everybody else and that we care about the students. And so therefore, we spend extra time teaching them, if you don't understand how to ask a question, then it is okay. We give them permission to come to an adult or to go to another child who they may feel more comfortable with. We are trying to put peer mediation in; we are trying to put conflict resolution in. We are tying to put all the pieces in that will work in that particular school.

However, we won't do it at least the psych. staff will not do it -- in schools that do not ask for it. We will only do it in the places that are asking for our help.


Chairman Goodling. Let me ask you, all of you, the question I asked the students, and that was the question of is there discipline in the school? Are teachers and principals allowed to discipline? And I said I didn't mean writing 50 or 500 times, I will not do that again. And if there is discipline, do the parents support that effort?

I say that because every charity golf tournament I play, and every place I go in public, former student comes up, and says, do you remember me. And I say, you look familiar. Well, you paddled me. And of course, I have a stock answer because they have all become very successful. I just say, well, boy, you have become successful, it must have helped. Yes, it did.

My question is, are you allowed to discipline? And do parents support you if there is a discipline code?


Mr. Smith. Yes. Thurston High School, I think, is considered a very disciplined school. I mean for all different ranges of discipline, including expulsion, which is what happened to Kip Kinkel. I would say something here to get a plug in for this, I think it is important that when you do expel a child from school that there is some kind of a rehabilitation or a further program to help, rather than just expelling and nothing happening from that point on because then you really haven't solved anything when he can come back later on as well.

So Thurston is a discipline school.


Chairman Goodling. Is the paddle allowed?


Mr. Smith. No. Of course not.


Chairman Goodling. That is a tragedy.


Mr. Kingery. May I comment on that?


Chairman Goodling. Third time they come, they should expect a little something more.


Mr. Kingery. I think the discipline has been replaced by relocation.


Chairman Goodling. And I would answer your question, Mr. Kildee, yes, large schools -- I tried to fight consolidation as a school administrator. I wasn't successful because, obviously, they are going to be bigger schools, bigger problems, and lots of bus problems. And you take them out of the community. That is the tragedy. You take them out of the community.

That is my answer. You didn't ask me the question, but I gave you an answer.



Chairman Castle. Thank you, Chairman Goodling. Mrs. McCarthy.


Mrs. McCarthy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before I got here to Congress, I was a nurse. I still consider myself a nurse. So I do believe in preventive medicine, and I think it is something that can work. And I think we have to realize, no matter what we decide here, we are not going to save every child. And what I am concerned about is that as we talk through this, trying to come up with solutions to help as many children as we can, someone is not going to say we can't do anything. Because we are hearing a lot of that. You know, we can't solve this. And that is not the right way to go.

We can solve a lot of these problems.

One of the things that I am very concerned about, my young people feel that, and I am talking about my kids in my high school and my junior high, they feel that they are being labeled. The majority of the kids that I know are good kids. We are talking about a small amount of children that need the extra help.

We cannot take the chance of labeling all of our young people. It is wrong. Our parents did it to us. What is going to happen to this generation? And we are seeing it, and we are hearing the kids. If you listen to the children, that is what they are talking about: Everyone is saying we are no good. We as adults are sending that wrong message.

I will say, as far as this country on morals, I am sorry, the people I see across this country have good morals. We see volunteerism up all over this country. We see people getting involved on a daily basis. There might be some lack of morals on certain small percentages. Again, do not classify the majority of the people in this country.

We see people in church more and more. And I want to go back to certainly the Hamilton Fish Institute. You have said that you have done studies, you have solutions. We don't have to reinvent the wheel, and I don't believe in reinventing the wheel. We shouldn't try and reinvent the wheel. But, again coming back, and I am sorry that I have to harp on this, the easy access of guns to children. What has your research shown?


Mr. Kingery. Well, as I said before, we haven't adequately studied, even easy access for children, to handguns. And what we have found is that parents are spending less time with their children in general. We are finding that there are very few laws to keep the handguns locked up, and make parents in any way accountable for that. We find there is great inconsistency in enforcement of those laws.

When it comes to passing one blanket piece of legislation that would cover the whole thing, I don't use the word solution. You know, there are things that make it better. You know, we can't talk in absolute terms. There are ways that make it better all the way around. But we are just beginning to study what those are.

Limiting access to handguns, and handguns in schools, has a whole lot to do with the subtleties of how you keep a whole management system going, in keeping the weapons out. It can't be a metal detector at the front door. That has never worked, and it won't work in the future. It is more complex than that.

And there are about a dozen things that any one school can do to help keep weapons out of school that really work.


Mrs. McCarthy. I agree. I will put the responsibility onto parents. And I think parents have to owe up to that. I think in part of your testimony you had mentioned 15 States that have strict laws on making parents responsible. And that has cut down on accidental homicide and suicides.

Again, everything we are talking about today certainly is because of the schools and the shootings we have seen in them. Let's not forget the big picture. Thirteen kids a day die, 13 kids a day. That is a classroom every two days. But they don't make the news. That is what we are supposed to be dealing with, not just school shootings. But we can help a lot of those kids. And I do believe we can, as long as no one gets caught up into the politics of it.

And that I hope will not happen.

Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mrs. McCarthy. Mr. Tancredo.


Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to express my sincere appreciation to all of you, of course, but Mr. Welsh especially whose poignant testimony once again rekindled the thoughts and feelings I had when we first met. You remember, Mr. Welsh, you and I shared your feelings that day and we both shed tears at the time.

I must admit that it has had that similar effect in recounting what you were saying to me that day. So I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your coming here and sharing that poignant story with us.

I am also reminded of, as we sit here and talk about the various intervention strategies that are identified in each of your testimonies, and in the research especially, what we do know about two shooters in Colorado, Harris and Klebold.

We do know, as a matter of fact, they were identified early on with problems. We know, as a matter of fact, that they had a lot of intervention, that they had a lot of counseling. We know that they were on probation, as a matter of fact, for other violent crimes. I shouldn't say violent crimes. They were on probation for other crimes they had committed earlier on.

We certainly knew who they were. I was told yesterday, and I don't have corroborating information to this, but I was told that over a year and half ago they were both suspended from school because they had broken into a teacher's computer file. They were actually the student assistants in this classroom and had broken into their teacher's computer file and stolen the locker combinations and then went and put death threats in certain lockers of people that they were looking at.

And this was a year and a half ago. I understand that they were both suspended at that time from this school. All right? Now, I also read in the Sunday paper, the Rocky Mountain News, a long, long story about a family in Lamar, Colorado, that had a son that, frankly, as you read the story anyway, would have been a mirror image of Mr. Harris; the young man that was the sort of ringleader of the two in this situation.

And they had done everything imaginable -- every single thing you can possibly identify -- every one of the intervention programs, and some we have never heard of. They were at the point, and they had in fact given up rights to the child so that Medicaid could finally come in take over and put him in a longer-term program of psychiatric care because they couldn't afford it anymore. But they were dedicated parents who identified a problem they knew was there and they were looking everywhere for help. And they were getting it. They were getting everything that, you know, all of you gentlemen and lady at the table, talked about as being important.

But, you know what, it hasn't worked. It didn't work. Mr. Klebold and Mr. Harris. What do we do when all of the intervention strategies that we have identified, all the counselors in the world have participated in the process, what do we do?


Mr. Kingery. I would like to say that your insights are not an indictment on prevention at all.


Mr. Tancredo. They are not meant to be. The question was not rhetorical.


Mr. Kingery. Right. I understand. I am just saying that the state of art of the prevention programs is extremely low. They are not adequately developed. They are not based on what works. They are based on things like self-esteem -- self-esteem is not the issue. Killers have high self-esteem.


Mr. Tancredo. Yes, yes.


Mr. Kingery. They are misguided programs based on intuition. There is very little evaluation going on with those programs. But the ones that are evaluated, some are 20 times more effective than others. They address the root causes, the risk factors that we know are important. And it is not a mystery what those factors are.


Mr. Tancredo. Anybody else, Mr. Welsh?


Mr. Welsh. I would like to mention thing concerning the relationship between the parents and the school. I have several cousins, first cousins, that are teachers, and two of the things that pop up most commonly as complaints in their profession is the problem with discipline in the schools and with motivation. And it is a shame when I have them tell me that they think about quitting the career because they can't seem to get support from the administration when children are not motivated, they don't care, they don't do the work.

And then when they get low grades because of that lack of effort, when the teacher marks them down and they pass out the report cards, and the parents are in there on their backs complaining about why little Johnny didn't get a good grade and he is misunderstood and everything. And so he acts up in class a little, but that is okay. And then the administration doesn't support the teachers.

I see two areas. It all begins in the home. Parents have to be able to learn to raise their kids with respect for life and with a decent set of values that we can live in this society and get along. And it has to begin there. And then it has to carry on through into the school system.

And the parents and the school systems have to be in unison as far as their efforts. And there has to be agreement. That is difficult nowadays in a Constitutional Government where you have all kinds of different opinions on what is proper and what isn't and what you can allow in a public school system and what you can't.

But somehow that has got to be reinforced in the school system at what they begin with at the home, hopefully, is carried on in the school system in terms of academic, high academic standards and acceptable behavior and value systems.

And if there is a problem with that, then that has to be worked out. But I think that that has to go hand in hand. My mother, when I went to junior high, the first day of registration, she talked to my homeroom teacher, and I will give you an example of what a brief early detection and intervention and counseling session was like. She told my homeroom teacher with me sitting there with her, as a conference, she said, I expect Lyle to behave in school, like he does as I expect at home. And if he misbehaves, gives you problems, you have the right to punish him. And you call me, and when he comes home, I will punish him.

So I knew right away that what they were expecting from me, my family and the school, was something that I had to accomplish. Otherwise, I reaped the consequences of my actions.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Welsh. Thank you, Mr. Tancredo. Mr. Scott.


Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Kingery, did I understand you to say that about 8 percent of the students in high school brought a firearm to school in the last 30 days?


Mr. Kingery. Well, actually, what I was referring to was the youth risk behavior survey that is put out by the Centers for Disease Control every year. And there was 12 percent of boys say they had carried a weapon to school in the past 30 days.


Mr. Scott. Weapon or firearm?


Mr. Kingery. In this case, let me double check. Yes, it was weapon. They didn't specifically ask gun in school, as I recall now. They didn't_


Mr. Scott. Do you have your testimony before you?


Mr. Kingery. Pardon me?


Mr. Scott. Do you have your testimony before you?


Mr. Kingery. Yes, I do, sir.


Mr. Scott. On page 6.


Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, I am sorry, but I have to catch a flight.


Chairman Castle. Mr. Smith, you told us earlier about that. And we really appreciate your being here. We understand that there is a lot of traffic out there. So you had better go as fast as you can.


Mr. Smith. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. But thank you very much for being here.


Mr. Kingery. This was not at school. This was gun anywhere. So if I misunderstood, I am sorry.


Mr. Scott. Okay.


Mr. Kingery. You are talking about guns in schools. That is very different question.


Mr. Scott. You have indicated that_well, let me ask you another question. Mr. Smith is leaving. He had indicated that it doesn't make a lot of sense to expel someone without services so that they come back a year later just as, well, worse off and further behind than when they left. Do you agree with that assessment?


Mr. Kingery. Absolutely. Suspension and expulsion are not solutions. I am not saying we don't need to separate them from the other children in the school sometimes. I don't believe that labeling works, though we need to try to avoid labeling. But put them in separate alternative ed programs and give them services. Don't kick them out.


Mr. Scott. So that you can separate them from the school to be fair to the other students but at the same time you have to continue educating those that you have removed from the regular classroom?


Mr. Kingery. Yes, but I believe the solution is not always at the bottom of the hill, where kids are jumping off a cliff. Start earlier. When you see those risk factors_we recognize them in elementary school, and we recognize them in families and can pick the kids out from various schools within a district and put them in special programs.


Mr. Scott. Well, you kind of beat around the bush a little bit about saying that there is technology and some programs that are 20 times more effective than others. Why don't you just come right out and tell us what works and what doesn't work.


Mr. Kingery. I would be glad to. I wasn't really hedging. It's that there are so many, and it depends on the question you are looking at. But I will hold up one great resource on that that has just been sent to every school in the country, the Annual Report on School Safety. It has specific programs, specific solutions. And since that, just this last week we finished a study of 100 programs, and that is in my testimony. Each one is specifically named. Its level of effectiveness is specifically mentioned. And its characteristics are clear.


Mr. Scott. Are there common elements in successful programs?


Mr. Kingery. Yes. Depending on what you are looking for. Universalistic programs that teach all kids just avoid violence, have good morals don't work. There is a modicum of education that needs to go to all students. But there are students who have very special needs, high-risk students. We don't like to label them, but catch them when they are having behavioral problems young. Teach them skills. Didactic teaching is not enough. They need small, focused skills training programs.

And all the effective programs are doing that. But the kid is not the problem. The school environment is very often a big part of the problem. We like to think by now that we have worked all the bugs out of schools. But now with guns in the equation and other weapons, it's a new game. And we have to revise the_rethink the way we organize school policies and procedures.


Mr. Scott. And have these successful programs_they have been evaluated, control groups, so that we know what works and what doesn't work.


Mr. Kingery. The minimum standard is pre-and post-test before and after an intervention with a control group of some kind. Usually one that's matched and hopefully random design.


Mr. Scott. Now, do any of these successful programs involve the criminal justice system?


Mr. Kingery. These are programs based in schools. The biggest experiment with the criminal justice system is police in schools, that will take place this fall with heavy funding. It is not based on_


Mr. Scott. We spend all our time trying to decide whether we are going to treat juveniles as adults or not. All the evidence shows that they will be treated more leniently as adults. So I don't know why we want to go that direction, anyway.

But do you have any evidence that shows that even ought to be the discussion we are having?


Mr. Kingery. There is no evidence that I know on the effectiveness of police in schools, sir. None. In fact, there is concern about what, how should we train them. What should they do once they are there? I am saying it's a promising approach, but we just don't know yet quite how to go about it. And there is big experiment under way this fall on that in schools all -- in 50 communities. And I would like to see us study that in-depth.


Mr. Scott. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Scott. We appreciate it. Mrs. Roukema.


Mrs. Roukema. Very good. I appreciate that. This has been a very informative panel, and I really appreciate what everyone has been saying. But let me go back to something that Dr. Kingery mentioned initially and then came back and added to it later in the context of another question. Maybe that will lead up to my question.

I really appreciated the fact that you said, Dr. Kingery, and others have said it one form or another, but you said let's cut through the rhetoric and move to the science and knowledge that we already have available. And then, in another context, you said, we are not talking about pop therapy but we need serious professional help. And that really leads right into what has been troubling me.

And you are all experts, and I want to hear what you have to contribute on this because what I have been known to say is that, after all, we are not in the dark ages here. There is certain knowledge that we have that can deal with. And in addition to all the rhetoric, and I am definitely with Congresswoman McCarthy on the guns' issue and certainly with all those who are talking about the culture of violence and the videos and all of that. It is all of the above, but it is something more as well.

And that is the question of mental health and what we know about early warning signs and the professional help that we should be getting in that respect for these young people. See, I think of Columbine as exhibit A, and although one of the young men evidently had private treatment, the problem is that, as I see it, that as he went through the juvenile justice system -- they did, they went through that -- and as they went through the school system, there was not a coordination either with the schools, the guidance people, the school psychologists, the parents -- at least there has been no evidence of that -- and the juvenile justice system.

Eleven weeks before this happened, those two young men were released from the juvenile justice system with glowing reports. They were wonderful. Of course, there are legal questions that may have suppressed some of the information, but there is no indication that the probation -- juvenile justice system under probation -- had any link to what the schools are doing. Now I would like the best advice from those you on the panel because I think we have to set up those links, protecting confidentiality, but bringing everyone into the system and getting the professional help that is necessary.

But include juvenile justice -- I have some legislation here that I would like to see adopted -- and connect it to the Elementary-Secondary Education Act. But, apply all our knowledge, professional knowledge, in a system to help these kids and to protect the rest of the community.

Any comment? I see a lot of heads nodding. So, Doctor, please.


Mr. Lane. I think you have expressed it very well.


Mrs. Roukema. I have? I have your endorsement then?


Mr. Lane. You betcha. I support it. I have a son-in-law who is actually a probation officer, and we do work very closely. And it is a key to identifying the problems and working collaboratively. We work with the mental health, the juvenile department, the schools. Yes.


Mrs. Roukema. But it hasn't been systematized the way it should be from State to State has it?


Mr. Lane. I don't know.


Mrs. Roukema. At least not in my experience.


Mr. Welsh. I would like to speak directly to that situation because I have talked with some people, and that is what kind of concern several parents that are involved in some of the critical aspects of this particular case that have been dealing with the law enforcement agencies and the school system.

When the law enforcement agency has on the table at a meeting a file that has information on Eric Harris' previous brush with the law and also the complaint at the time of the death threats to certain students--


Mrs. Roukema. Oh yes, including the neighbor, yes?


Mr. Welsh. And in pushing the issue with the authorities to try to get some kind of response and to investigate the situation, when they are sitting there at the table talking about this and they check the files and they do happen to find something on an Eric Harris, but they weren't allowed to say because of him being a juvenile, if that would go on or not, they had at their disposal on that table at the very same time files that addressed both these issues.

And yet that information was not cross-referenced, it was not made use of, and it was not used in their decision to take them off the program, give them an early release on the intervention program. Personally speaking, if I were a judge or counselor involved in that case, and that information were given to me, I would have great concerns about being able to release children from a program like that based on the information that had already been collected.


Mrs. Roukema. I am glad you mentioned that.


Mr. Welsh. With solid and e-mail evidence, hard-copy information, threats, everything being done, the bombs, the guns -- everything was there.


Mrs. Roukema. That was my understanding as well.


Mr. Welsh. It was a feeling like it was not considered quite important enough to worry about.


Mrs. Roukema. See, that was my understanding as well, and one of the reasons I was calling Little exhibit A of all of the above.

Yes, Dr. Kingery.


Mr. Kingery. I would invite your attention to a successful program in San Diego, where a judge sat on the bench and said to the various parts of the government, you will communicate with each other, you will share records and information. And, by golly, they did it. They found a way. And when a police officer stops a kid on the street in the middle of the day, he knows what school he is going to, he knows history on that kid, he can interact with social services and health professionals and others.


Mrs. Roukema. See, I am convinced, without putting undue mandates onto our State and local officials, I am convinced that our committee here, both through its juvenile justice jurisdiction as well as the Elementary-Secondary Education Act, can put those incentives into the law and provide an accountability system for reporting back.

There are other questions that I have, but I, and particularly on confidentiality or the privacy questions, but perhaps I can submit them to you individually and get a response back.

I thank the Chairman.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mrs. Roukema. Ms. Woolsey.


Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have two questions, and I would like each of you, if you will, answer it. The first one is short; the second one you will have to come up with your thoughts.

First of all, would Littleton, Springfield, Moses Lake, and the others have happened without access to firearms and explosives? Question one. Question two: As very informed, caring members of the public and concerned about what has been going on, what is your opinion of why we as a nation and why we as a Government don't step up to the issue and do something about it.

And I will start with you, Doctor.


Mr. Kingery. Very challenging questions. What would have happened in each one of those settings? I know only, being remote and only guessing, but it would have been different if guns weren't in the equation. But I don't believe that guns are going to be removed from the equation. So it is pretty hypothetical.

But if there are some protections around those issues, and some subtle things -- if we can bring people to the table, and that leads to the second part of your question, why we don't step up. When it comes to guns, there is inflamed rhetoric. There is the NRA on one side, and there is the other camp on the other side. And very few people want to sit down and say there is an area where we can meet and talk. And that is about unsupervised access to weapons among minors, that that is an issue we ought to be able to agree on. We ought to be able to do some legislation on, and some policy and programming.


Mr. Chapman. I'm not sure I can add anything of any merit to any of that. Obviously, the outcome would be, would seem to be very different if that were not an option for the access. And as to why that debate will go on, that probably has to fall in the list of the many, many debates that we will not understand why they can't be resolved and just come to an agreement. But that is part of, I guess, this process that we are in today.


Ms. Woolsey. Well feel free to say you are disappointed that we are not doing that.


Mr. Lane. Yes. I am. The guns certainly put a different part to the equation. I would like to hear the NRA sometime say that it is not okay to commit a crime with a gun and vigorously support action to solve that. If they would solve that equation, maybe part of it would get better. I don't know.

But I don't understand it either.


Ms. Woolsey. Thank you.


Ms. Francis. Obviously outcomes would have been different without explosives and firearms. So I won't even go any further than that because that's obvious. If the students don't have the guns, they don't have access to bomb-making materials, then a lot of lives who were lost would be with us today.


Ms. Woolsey. Well, they could have had knives and bats and--


Ms. Francis. Yes, they could have. There have always been knives and bats. However, firearms and explosives tend to be a lot more, if you will forgive me, cool. And the children today seem to be a lot more desensitized; whereas, you and I are sensitized. When they play video games, that appear they are at target practice walking down the hallways and shooting. I mean, it is a simple matter, even if you have just learned how to pull the trigger, you already have targeting practice established via simulation.

So, yes, if they didn't have it, why would they use it?


Ms. Woolsey. Why then don't we step up to--


Ms. Francis. Then why don't we step up to the plate? I would say that we are just too busy with our own stuff as to why we don't step up to the plate. We have our own agendas, and if you forgive me for being so frank, I don't think we really care enough.


Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Welsh.


Mr. Welsh. Obviously, the outcome would be different. I don't know if the outcome would be any less acceptable, obviously, but I think there are a couple things that need to be pointed out. Mr. Souder mentioned earlier, in our situation, guns were not the only thing involved. Pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails--


Ms. Woolsey. Well, I said explosives.


Mr. Welsh. Right. And so, when you can make a pipe bomb with standard, ordinary, everyday materials--


Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Welsh, I said explosives. If they weren't part of it too. I'm not saying explosives are better than guns.


Mr. Welsh. But, nevertheless, you can still make pipe bombs with everyday materials. In household and hardware, you can make a pipe bomb with those materials. So how do you go about trying to impose some kind of a system where you can control those kind of materials in order to not assemble pipe bombs or Molotov cocktails? I think the issue about guns has to be emphasized again, to be looked at, but it concerns me when, in the past two years, it has been said that 6,000 kids were caught with guns in the schools and only 13 were prosecuted.

Why isn't the Justice Department pursuing this issue? We have already got a lot of gun laws on the books. In fact, I understand the estimate, I have heard numbers around 20 State and Federal laws were violated with these two kids at school. So I think there are a lot of things that have to be looked at. If someone has the intent and evil in their hearts, they will find a way to do one or the other.

As far as the issue of hypothetically or what do I see as the problems, I think there are three of them. One is declining values and lack of religious training. I think that is the primary problem here. That is the root of all these problems. We are looking at Band-Aids to cover up--


Chairman Castle. Mr. Welsh, I have to encourage you to try to finish up so we can keep moving.


Ms. Woolsey. I think I have given up my time.


Chairman Castle. You may finish briefly, if you wish, sir.


Mr. Welsh. Yes. Two is just the lack of support and involvement by the parents and working in unison with the schools. I think three is inefficient and governmentally burdened school districts that have difficulty providing a pleasant and successful education experience. That takes away from resources that they can't apply to these problems to address some of these solutions.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Souder.


Mr. Souder. Well, first I want to thank each of you for your work in this field, particularly those of you, I know, Mr. Lane, you said you were just a teacher. In that position, there is no such thing as just a teacher. In that position, each one of you are, in different ways, giving back to the community. And, Ms. Francis, I do want to say that some of the reason these things aren't occurring isn't just because we don't care. People who really care can disagree in policy as well.

I have three kids, and I care deeply. But it doesn't mean that I am going to necessarily result in backing somebody's particular bill. NRA, in fact -- and I need to point, I am not a gun owner. I never have been a gun owner. But the NRA, in fact, favors prosecution with gun laws.

I have supported --and one of my frustrations today, there's really two parts of it. One of it is that I supported the gun bill that made it illegal to be not only on school grounds but near school grounds, which had -- and I supported the V-chip, which a lot of my colleagues haven't. I definitely see the impact that some schools are doing a much better job in peer counseling. But the truth is, that there is an underlying cultural problem that because some people are uncomfortable with that, we are unwilling to address some of the moral crises of this country. And secondly, the drug problems.

But I wanted to talk to Mr. Chapman for a minute because, first, I wanted to thank you. You have been in Fort Wayne a number of times. You have had a tremendous impact in our community. And your work in this area is really important.

In part of your testimony that you didn't have a chance to read that will be in the record, you quoted James Q. Wilson as saying, much of this is moral foundation. And he is an expert on this. He did juvenile justice studies for and projects that I have participated in over the years. But you also had an interesting line, you said the church sounds an uncertain trumpet. Clearly, you can tell today if we are banking on the schools to suddenly have the moral trumpet, it isn't going to happen.

What did you mean by the church? And you have taken personal efforts. But how can we get other Christians to reach out, and other religions to reach out around them? We hear of this whole thing in Kosovo, people of different religious backgrounds bombing each other, for crying out loud, and killing each other.


Mr. Chapman. Well, I think that the issue, in so many ways, and all I will do, being very much not an expert at any of these things, is refer to the Government of my own home and watching my own children grow up and seeing the implications there of, as something was said earlier, about the goodness in each of us. And I have watched my incredibly wonderful children be incredibly violent, and it is a matter of training and a matter of them learning through a process that there are rights and wrongs that, just like there is the law of gravity, regardless of what we think of it, how we may like it or dislike it, if we step off of a high building we are going to go down and there are going to be consequences.

And I think that even within the church is at times an attack on our autonomy, it places us under the authority, ultimate authority of our creator, our maker, and his law.

And so I think those are some of the concerns that, again, in an attempt to stay politically correct and stay safe sometimes and not confront and not in banging people over the head with the truth. And I have so much respect for everything that I have heard here today, but, respectfully, you know, issues that I have to disagree with because even as I listen to your question about if all these other things are done, what, what's left? Are we hopeless?

And as I have stood in Littleton, Colorado, as I stood with those friends, as I have gone to my hometown of Paducah, as I have tucked my little girl in bed and said what do you think about this, and she says, I am just scared. You know, it is moving closer to me everyday.

I think of this, and I was hoping for an opportunity to honor the life of Cassie Bernall today, with just this closing story from me of her life and how her parents, at a time when she was very much on a moral track of destruction, even involved in witchcraft and some of the very things that it appears that maybe some of the gentlemen perpetrated the crime were. And her parents --I spoke with them personally -- and they explained how, because of their love for her and because of their belief in God's grace and the power of God's love at work in her life, they enacted what they called tough love as parents, and began to move into that with much prayer and her life was changed when everything else seemed to be hopeless to the point that she was even willing to die for what she believed.

It was that strong to her.


Mr. Souder. Mr. Chairman, may I ask discretion to ask Dr. Kingery one point?


Chairman Castle. If you can ask a brief question. If he can promise to give a very brief answer. You may do so.


Mr. Souder. And possibly, you could give us a written response. In your risk and protective factors in the relationship of guns, in carrying a weapon to school, some of them were, and it is hard to -- I mean, I have tried to understand this. But in the consequences and the predictor, what screams off the page is, is that if they are carrying a weapon, 39.5 risk odd that they had used powder cocaine in grade seven. In other words, it is like two and half times anything. And marijuana was third.

And in the other variables, as far as predictor risk, it looked to me like everything else -- clearly, if they had pulled a gun on somebody, they were potential carrying a gun in school. But that is kind of already in the same range of a weapon.

It looks like two things were the driving variables, either alcohol frequency, drug frequency, and/or at a young age, for fighting.

Is that a fair?


Chairman Castle. I think it would be helpful if you answered briefly. Mr. Souder made a good point. It might be helpful to submit a further explanation of this in writing.


Mr. Kingery. I was about to say that, because you asked the most complicated question, and I have just written a whole international journal document on marijuana does not cause violence. But a lot of kids who are violent use marijuana. It has the opposite effect, by the way.

But there are other drugs that are our concern for violence, and kids that engage in one behavior engage in the other. It is a very complex interaction.


Mr. Souder. Thank you.


Chairman Castle. I think it would be interesting to hear more on that if there is more you could submit. Then Mr. Payne is next.


Mr. Payne. Thank you very much, and I am sorry I missed your testimony, but I have gone through your written testimony. And I compliment all of your for working with our young people. As I indicated before, I am a former school teacher, active in the YMCA, and so I think it is so important that we have good people working with young people.

I went upstairs after I made some comments about guns and my phone went off the hook. I guess all the NRA people are looking at it and they were saying what a nut I was. I sound like my opponents.

But I still want to get back to even changing the name. I was looking at the young lady who who testified earlier, Anita Wheeler, and we are starting to call this school violence rather than gun violence. And it's gun violence in school. And I think the shift again away from this business of a gun for every man, woman, and infant in this country is something we have to come to grips with.

It makes no sense. Last week in the Senate, they just said this gun thing makes no -- we are not going to bother with it until the country said, you got to be crazy. What are you guys on? You know, I didn't read your paper on substance abuse and all that, but you can not be thinking seriously if you are going to excuse the use of guns in this.

Now, one of the other things that I see happening is that we are inter-correlating guns and gun violence and deaths by guns and explosives. Now, I would like to know the number of people who are killed by explosives as opposed to the number of people killed by guns used by young people.

You couldn't even come up with a percentage because the number of people -- and because people who are opposed to gun control are going to say, well, you know, they can make a bomb and, therefore, you can't control it because they will make a bomb, instead of use a gun.

Well, no one lost their life by a bomb in my town. But a number have lost their lives by guns. And so we can't start to put this, well, perhaps some would have died anyway if the bomb would have killed them. They are two separate issues. Bomb makers are probably one in 50,000 as opposed to people who have these 235 million guns in this country.

Let me just say quickly, also, that a gun in the hands of a young person gives them a whole different attitude. I taught school for a long time, 15 years, and I saw some young fellows, decent, nice fellows, who even became policemen, and what a difference in attitude from my students. I was near a light, getting ready to go, they pull their car over, his hand on his hip. I said, that's little Bobby. Bobby was a little meek kid. But, you know, when that badge and that authority and that hand there near his hip -- guns are just different things. Especially for young people -- and this was an adult who was trained.

For young people with these guns in their hands, there is no hope. And so, someone said we can't get them out of their hands. I don't say we can't get them out of people's hands. We have got to figure out a way to get guns out of people's hands.

And one final thing I mentioned before about the fact that prayer, in school and people wanting to get prayer back in school. One of my colleagues, evidently, felt that I thought morals and civics and good things shouldn't be taught in school. I think they should be. I am simply saying, in my experience, when they used to have the prayer in school, like I said, my Catholic youngsters stopped at the last part, Jewish kids said nothing. We didn't have any Arabic youngsters at that time.

I could imagine how they felt. I think that we should worship who we believe in, but that doesn't mean that we should not teach the right morals in school. Say the prayer doesn't therefore make everything right, like some people evidently believe that we need to teach morals, that we need to teach judgment, we need to teach the right thing, we need to teach the proper way to behave.

But, you know, I don't think that has to be at the first thing in the morning, like we used to have to do every morning, which, like I said, makes some other kids feel out of place.

Let me just ask a question. The young lady said, she thought that the class sizes in her area were too big and if they were reduced that there would probably - said 40 kids, and that is what I had when I was teaching in school, 40. We are trying to get a bill through to say, at least in grades one to three, there should be no more than 18 kids in a class. But we are getting opposition to that.

What, quickly, since you all are in schools, what do you think about the one to have less than 18 youngsters in first grade to the third grade. And do you think that it would be beneficial to try to nip school violence in the bud? Just real quickly. I imagine they are all yeses, I hope.


Mr. Welsh. I have catch a plane. So maybe I will go ahead and lead off here. I think there is a correlation between school size and the class size and the pupil to teacher ratio. As we said earlier, that can vary even within that situation based on the environment or the kind of learning environment that you have created for the students and the teachers, and given the teachers the tools and, to my way of thinking, some discipline or the ability to handle their classroom and be able to command respect and accomplish their task without tying their hands behind them.

So, I think the smaller the class the better, up to a certain point based on just economics involved and inefficiencies involved. So if you can get more one-on-one with teachers to the pupils, I think that is better.

Now, how you accomplish that within given school districts and their budgets is real difficult to do. But I think it is something that should be stressed.


Mr. Payne. Thank you.


Ms. Francis. I agree. It is my experience that regardless if you are in first grade or if you are in 12th grade, when you optimize the learning potential, not saying there will not be problems, but when you optimize the learning potential of every child -- if you only have one teacher in there, if you have a ratio of one to 18, you do have a lot more learning going on per child than if you have one to 40.


Mr. Lane. Yes. I would just echo it. We more and more are having to develop individual plans for students because they are learning at different rates, and we are dealing with a lot more. And there is only way you can do that, it is to maintain a lower ratio. I think the use of technology is another piece that we need to really consider that it is another tool that can help us to create some of those lower class sizes. And I think that is something that we are incorporating in the structure.


Mr. Payne. Thank you.


Mr. Chapman. Again, I can only respond as a parent, but my kids are fortunate to be in a school system where it is a small classroom setting. I think it has had definitely a very positive effect and impact. And seeing the one on one time, and I really believe this. So much of what we are discussing in this is really a life on life and one on one issue anyway as we go out and become responsible with whatever our sphere of influence is and wherever we can make a difference. And I think as it relates to that, certainly class size is part of that.


Mr. Payne. Thank you.


Mr. Kingery. Just an opinion, I think it's great to invest more in education across the board, but from a research perspective, you can either have smaller schools within a big school facility, build solid walls where they function separately, have separate systems within a broader system, and create a similar thing to what you do with a smaller school. And within any of those, the class size should be smaller, whether 18 is the magic number or something else. I don't know.


Mr. Payne. Thank you very much.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Payne. I will take the last round of questions here for five minutes. I deferred earlier on, and I think we will be all done at that point. And let me, obviously thank all of you for being here.

But I want to talk to you, Mr. Chapman, if I could a little bit, and maybe change up a little bit in terms of what you were speaking about before. And I read your testimony. And I actually saw a little bit in the monitor when I was in a room having a meeting.

But you are in the entertainment business, and from what I gathered in talking to many, many groups about this and otherwise in just what I know, obviously, whether it is true in your family or not, it is true generally in America today that in the place of parents, in many instances, you have a different form of thing happening with kids. Often it is through the cultural media, if you will. It could be a variety of things. It could be what they see on television. It could be a video they plug into their VCR. It could be a dance video. It could be something now on the internet though, which is a new phenomenon of huge, amazing proportions in terms of what kids are exposed to.

And a lot more kids either together or separately are looking at these things. Many people who monitor what kids see are very critical of the kinds of programming they are seeing, all the way from just plain television shows to, obviously, movies which have a great deal of violence in them.

While you are in the business, you are not in that side of the business at all. But I would be interested in your comments on it. Do you understand, I think, the influence of how a child can be entertained and how they can be influenced? And I would be interested in your comments about that whole, that whole sort of change that we are having. Is that impacting these kids? Or can they put it aside? What are your views on all that?


Mr. Chapman. I think that there is this systematic desensitizing that has gone on, is a huge part of, again, the fraying of the moral fabric of our culture. As you were telling that I was thinking of the first time -- I lived a relatively sheltered life in Paducah, Kentucky -- and the first time I sat through a movie that was filled with a lot of the use of GD and that word that I hadn't heard a lot. And I remember how offended I was and how it affected me, and even to the point as I left feeling really just kind of bothered by that.

And I think of how many times now that I may hear that in a movie that I will watch, and it will just go right past me. I see it in my own experience. And I think that we would be very foolish to not believe that we are affected. We live so much in a reset-button culture, it seems like.

You know, I think of my kids. And we have even begun, just as a family, to respond to this, guys, my guys who love video games along with the rest of 8-and 9-year-olds of the world, to say anything that involves violence, anything that involves the taking of a life of another person, we are just going to rule those out.

Because, when it is all over, you push reset and you start again and you go again. And I think that can't help but train and have impact in the mind and the heart.


Chairman Castle. Let me follow up. Can this be self-corrected. You have obviously dealt with the people who run the media business, that are making these decisions. And again you may be dealing with a different set of people than some of the ones we might be concerned about. But is the almighty dollar and the ability to make a dollar so great that they always going to make the games as realistic as possible, the movies as violent as possible, and whatever it may be in order to attract kids to it?

Is that part of the desensitization we are going through because people won't give that up on a voluntary basis? I am not much for censorship, but on the other hand, the concept that we are not going to change any of this now. And I understand that maybe it is not changing. That Columbine has not had that effect concerns me a great deal.

What are your thoughts about that, about the people who run this kind of business and whether they will ever make changes.


Mr. Chapman. Again, I think it is just a huge question of responsibility. And when we are given a platform, when we are given the power to impact culture and media and music. And all of that does that. And I think that there is, again, if I may quote a scripture, and it gets often misquoted, it is not money that is the root of all evil, but it is the love of money. And I believe my experience, and I definitely operate in a pretty different environment, but I do brush enough with that to see that there is, certainly, a bottom line that is a bottom line.

And if it is going to sell and it is going to generate income, then a lot of times responsibility goes out the window. And I applaud and encourage all that you all can do to challenge that and raise that question.


Chairman Castle. Well, thank you, Mr. Chapman. And let me thank all of you very much. We have reached the end of what has been a fairly long day I am sure for all of you. We really appreciate you being here. You are at the forefront of contributing, hopefully, to the solution to the problems which exist out there.

We talk about what has happened in a limited number of schools, and obviously the children who died there. But it has been pointed out throughout this hearing that there are many, many other incidents of violence and problems with kids and things that we have to deal with. And what you have said touches on those things as well.

And we are very appreciative of that. The children are our future. And this Subcommittee and this committee as a whole are very focused on trying to do what we can to help. And your testimony has been tremendously helpful.

Let me see if Mr. Kildee would like to make any closing statement.


Mr. Kildee. Just thank you, Mr. Chairman, for having this hearing and I thank the witnesses. I have been drawn closer to the classroom today, I have been in classrooms many times since I left teaching 35 years ago, which is a long time. But really, you have been very, very helpful in bringing home to me some of the differences and the reality that exists in schools today.

And I commend all of you who are involved directly in education and those of you who are very concerned with education. And thank you again, Mr. Chairman.


Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Kildee. And again, thank you all very much. I thank everybody who was able to be with us today. And this is a very good turnout, by the way, for a Subcommittee. And we look forward, hopefully, to our following what you are doing in the future and, perhaps, helping us to what we are doing.

Thank you very much.

We stand adjourned.






[Whereupon, at 5:36 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]