Bush Plans School Violence Conference
> 10/4/2006 10:43:46 AM

In response to three horrific incidents of violence in American schools over the past week, the White House plans to arrange a conference to address the issue, spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters on Tuesday.

On Monday morning, a 32 year-old man shot eleven girls in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, killing five before shooting himself. This was only the latest and most shocking case of seemingly inexplicable violence that recalls the tragedies of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School. In a strikingly similar crime less than a week earlier, a man took several girls hostage in a Colorado high school, assaulting them and leaving one dead.

During a public appearance at a California school bearing his name, President Bush described himself as "saddened and deeply concerned" about the violence, stating that American children should never have to fear for their safety when going to school. Though the conference's particulars have yet to be hashed out, several top White House officials met on Monday to begin its planning, announcing that organizations such as the National Parent Teacher Association would be involved in the event.

The stories of innocents lost to such tragic violence give every American pause, and if the federal government can in any way help to prevent the future occurrance of attacks like those of the past week, they should take immediate steps to do so. Explanations for these heartless murders are varied and never satisfying. Whether we need step up security measures in our schools or try to better identify potential attackers, further research and individual action is required. This is not a simple problem, but in a deeper sense it affects all Americans, and any progress we make in preventing it will be worth the cost.

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