New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 20, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
Friday, July 20, 2001 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 9AThe state of the nation’s childrenyoung people
primarily from 2000, 1999 or 1998. Some parts of the report compare recent trends to those from 20 years ago.
Government agencies touted short-term gains. In recent years, teen pregnancies, youth violence and deaths have declined from the 1990s, the figures showed.
“Some of the declines we are seeing are off crazy peaks,” said Douglas Besharov, a welfare expert at the American Enterprise Institute. In the 1980s, he said, crack cocaine increased social problems among youth such as violence, substance abuse, unplanned pregnancies.
Triple-digit divorce rates also affected the stability of children across all cultural and economic lines, changing the basic fabric of the family. For about a century, more than 75 percent of U.S. children lived in a two-parent household. By 2000, the report said, for the first time, a quarter of children lived in single parent homes — most with their mothers.
Scholars said more personal wealth is good and important news, but that it doesn’t automatically translate into good health or education.Life is getting
By Anjetta McQueen
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — While American children are growing up wealthier than ever, this generation of youngsters is not the healthiest, the wisest or the best behaved.
From 1980 to 1999, the share of children growing up in a high-income home doubled from 16.8 percent to 29 percent, according to the annual look at federal child statistics released Wednesday.
In that period, poverty fell steadily and more American parents found work, according to figures that drew immediate praise from the Bush administration.
“It’s a good time to be a child in America,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who promised more funds to address youth issues.
“These findings represent important victories for children and adolescents,” said Dr. Duane Alexander, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, an HHS agency that specializes in child research.
However, U.S. youngsters sta-
better but still far from perfect for America’s
Children pretend to be astronauts at the New Braunfels Children’s Museum. “It’s a good time to be a child in America,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
tistically marched in place by many other measures — test scores and some student achievement remained flat and bad habits Uke smoking and drinking continued about the same pace as before, according to the America’s
—In 1980, 21.3 percent of hi§ school seniors said they smoke< daily, by 2000 the percentage o: seniors smoking regularly was 20.6 percent.
—Eighty-six percent of American youth had finished high school or earned diploma equivalents in 1999. In 1980 that figure was 84 percent.
“It’s a cautionary tale of progress,” said Margaret C. Simms, research director of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank that specializes in racial issues. “Economic expansion is not enough to put all families on equal footing.”
Household incomes have risen for all groups of children — including minority children, but many of them are in families that lack proper health insurance coverage, she said.
The annual study is compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics using information from 20 federal agencies. The forum is a federal and private research partnership created by the government in 1994.
Researchers followed health, education, economic and education trends among America’s 70.4 million children under the age of 18. The report is based on the most recently available statistics,
After the election: Gore set to enter new political phase
By Will Lester
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — After seven months of self-imposed silence, Al Gore is beginning to edge back toward the political world.
Rebounding from the closest presidential election in more than a century, the Democratic nominee is emerging in a very gradual way that aides insist has no firm deadline.
With little fanfare, Gore opens an office in Nashville, Tenn., this Friday that will be his new base of operations after the closing of his vice presidential transition office.
Associates anticipate he will gradually re-emerge into public life in the coming months, starting a political action committee and campaigning for Democrats.
Key Gore supporters in states like Iowa and New Hampshire have been on hold.
“My personal feeling is that it must be akin to the girlfriend of a lost soldier,” said Raymond Buckley, a veteran New Hampshire Democrat who was a senior adviser to Gore there. “You don’t know if he’s coming back, don’t
know whether to go on and look for a new love. Many of us who essentially dedicated our lives to his political career are in suspended animation.”
Close aides caution a decision by Gore to run for president in 2004 will be made down the road.
“He has committed nearly 25 years of his life to public service and has been grateful to do so,” said Gore aide Kiki McLean. “I suspect he will continue to play a role — however undefined it may be at this point — as an advocate of the issues he’s always believed to be important to America and its families.”
Associates say that after the election, Gore was acutely aware of the need to give the nation a break from the Bush-Gore chronicles. Gore aides won’t confirm reports he plans to hire former fund-raisers for the Democratic National Committee soon. But they acknowledge he eventually plans to form a political action committee to raise money and help other Democrats.
The 53-year-old Gore will also be very involved in teaching “family-centered community building” at two universities.
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Report: School shooters send warnings
By Judith Kohler
Associated Press Writer
DENVER (AP) — Most students involved in school shootings discussed the attacks beforehand and could have been stopped if authorities had been notified, a Secret Service study has found.
Appearing at a school safety conference, two agents discussed a Secret Service report to be released this summer that looks at 41 children involved in 37 school shootings since 1974. Agents interviewed 25 youths.
“There was no instance where the attack in a school was impulsive,” said agent Bryan Vossekuil, co-director of the agency’s Safe School Initiative. “It was not a case of a kid getting up in the
morning and saying, Tm going to take a gun to school today and shoot somebody.’”
Vossekuil and agent Matt Doherty told educators and police that the findings suggested they could prevent shootings like the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School that left 15 dead. Doherty said most of the shooters had done something that caught the attention of police, fellow students or teachers before the attack.
The report also said two-thirds of shooters reported feeling bullied before their attacks. Rich Harvell, president of the North American School Safety and Law Enforcement Officer®, said educators must let students know they won’t tolerate bullying.
The study found there is no profile of the typical school shooter. Attackers ranged in age from ll to 21, and came from a variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds. But the study did find that the assaults were planned and directed at specific targets.
“In almost all the cases, these kids told somebody else about their ideas,” Vossekuil said.
On the Net:
Safe School Initiative interim report: http: / /www. ustreas.gov/usss/ntac— ssi—report.pdf LLS. Secret Service: http://www. ustreas.gov/usss/index.ht m??ntac.htm&l
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