Dear Friend of America's Children:
I am pleased that you and your organization are joining the nationwide effort to create safer environments for our children by participating in our White House Conference on School Safety -- Causes and Prevention of Youth Violence. The conference will take place on Thursday, October 15, 1998, and I hope that you will use this opportunity to engage your community in confronting this challenging problem and finding solutions.
While schools are still among the safest places for America's young people, we know that violent crime continues to plague a number of our schools. We also know that the problems children face in school often reflect the problems of their communities: drugs, gangs, and guns, on the street and even in their homes. Solving these problems will call for the best effort from each of us -- from schools and teachers, parents and families, law enforcement officials and religious and community organizations. The federal government must also be an active partner.
At the White House Conference on School Safety, we will listen to and learn from students themselves and from parents, teachers, law enforcement, and other experts about efforts to keep our children safe in their schools and communities. We will build on the existing body of knowledge about young people and aggressive or violent behavior. We will share best practices and explore new solutions, and we will highlight strategies to put these models into practice nationwide.
Local events like yours are being developed across the country to underscore the importance of schools, communities, and families working together to create safer learning environments for our young people. You will have the opportunity to link via satellite to my live address when I issue the first Annual Report on School Safety; to a roundtable discussion on school and youth violence with the Vice President, the First Lady, Mrs. Gore, and me; and to a roundtable discussion, led by the First Lady, highlighting successful initiatives for creating safer schools and communities.
When our children's safety is at stake, we must take action -- and we all must do our part. I thank you for participating in this important event and for making a positive contribution to the future of America's children.