22nd Alaska State Legislature
News from Representative Lesil McGuire



Portrait of Representative Lesil McGuire, 123.4 K. Session:
State Capitol, Room 418
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2995
Fax: (907) 465-6592


Interim:
716 W. 4th Ave., Suite 430
Anchorage, AK 99501-2133
Phone: (907) 269-0250
Fax: (907) 269-0249

McGuire Working to Prevent
School Violence
Meeting Principals to Plan Use of $100,000,
Conflict Resolution Law

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2001
Contact: Rep. Lesil McGuire at (907) 465-2995

(ANCHORAGE) - With student-on-student violence making headlines again this week, Rep. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) will meet with principals of two South Anchorage high schools today to plan how they can best use her new anti-violence laws and $100,000 in associated funds to teach students a better way.

"The unfortunate flare-up of school fighting just this week points to the urgent need for schools to expand their efforts to teach peaceful conflict resolution strategies," said McGuire. "I am pleased to have helped secure some of the tools we'll need to teach students that violence is no solution."

In her first legislative term, McGuire targeted school violence as one of her highest legislative priorities, and won passage of House Bill 99, which will ensure that Alaska schools have policies in place to handle conflicts between students before they become violent. She also secured $100,000 to fully fund two-year conflict-resolution pilot programs at Dimond and Service high schools starting this fall.

McGuire will meet with Service High School Principal Pat Podvin, and Dimond High School Principal Guy Okuda, to map out how they can best take advantage of the new law and the funds. Incidents of fighting at each school early in the legislative session, plus other violent episodes at other Alaska schools, raised the visibility of the issue in Alaska and helped spur passage of House Bill 99, McGuire said.

"It takes more than just funding to make a program succeed, and I'm pleased that both principals want to work together to design effective programs to not only keep their schools safe, but also teach students important lessons about how to get along together in society without fighting," McGuire said.

McGuire expressed the hope she can help school officials, parents and students develop effective programs to teach students that physical violence is no solution to interpersonal conflict, and that the results from the efforts at South Anchorage high schools will be a solid model for the rest of the state.

"Once we can demonstrate success in these efforts in Anchorage, we'll have a strong case for going to the Legislature to secure regular educational funding for such programs, and expanding them to every high school in the state," she said.

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