The Best of Our Knowledge # 841
Albany, NY – SCHOOL SHOOTINGS/SAFE AND HEALTHY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS -
During recent weeks, school shootings in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Wisconsin have unnerved students, parents, and educators all across America. The shootings that left a principal and at least six students
dead in less than a week, have triggered promises from national and
state political leaders to tighten campus security. The killings put a
spotlight on school violence not seen since the 1999 Columbine High
School murders. This latest series of attacks, two by intruders, one by
a student, began in late September when a 53-year old gunman killed
one student and shot himself in a classroom at Platte Canyon High
School in Bailey, Colorado. Two days later, a 15-year old student shot
and killed his principal at Weston High School in a Wisconsin farming community. And just days after that, a 32-year old milk truck driver took
over a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, shooting and
killing five girls before killing himself. On the heels of those incidents,
Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings, and Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, chaired a summit to address school violence. TBOOK found
a nationally recognized authority to talk with about the issue. Dr. Howard Frumkin is a Professor and Chair of Environmental and Occupational
Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Frumkin also Directs
the National Center for Environmental Health at the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His just published book is called,
Safe and Healthy School Environments.
Glenn Busby reports. (10:37)
**(Attention Program Directors. The website Dr. Frumkin refers listeners
to for the latest info on school safety is: www.epa.gov/schools)**
ARE SCHOOL DISTRICTS ENCOURAGING URBAN SPRAWL? -
One of the issues addressed in our first story is the recent trend
towards building larger schools on larger parcels of land, away from
where people live. We found an example of this trend in Northern
Illinois, just outside Chicago. Each year, Americans build a staggering
one and a half million new homes. Environmentalists and others say
too many of these houses are big, single family homes on spacious lots.
These same people believe this wastes farmland and natural areas.
But many suburban planners tell TBOOK they're forced to build that
way by local governments and school districts. In this report from the
Great Lakes Radio Consortium, people suggest urban sprawl is
encouraged, to increase school property tax revenues.
Shawn Allee reports. (4:21)
ESSAY: IN DEFENSE OF FREE TIME -
We're all aware of how today's fast-paced society has affected the
lives of children too. Sometimes it just seems there aren't enough
hours in the day to do all the things we have scheduled. Our guest
essay should be heard by all families who feel like they're over booked.
Dr. Megan Fulwiler is an English Professor at the College of Saint Rose
in Albany, the capital of New York.
Dr. Megan Fulwiler comments. (3:01)