A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

``SEC. 4002. FINDINGS.

``The Congress finds as follows:
``(1) The seventh National Education Goal provides that by the year 2000, all schools in America will be free of drugs and violence and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol, and offer a disciplined environment that is conducive to learning.
``(2) The widespread illegal use of alcohol and other drugs among the Nation's secondary school students, and increasingly by students in elementary schools as well, constitutes a grave threat to such students' physical and mental well-being, and significantly impedes the learning process. For example, data show that students who drink tend to receive lower grades and are more likely to miss school because of illness than students who do not drink.
``(3) Our Nation's schools and communities are increasingly plagued by violence and crime. Approximately 3,000,000 thefts and violent crimes occur in or near our Nation's schools every year, the equivalent of more than 16,000 incidents per school day.
``(4) Violence that is linked to prejudice and intolerance victimizes entire communities leading to more violence and discrimination.
``(5) The tragic consequences of violence and the illegal use of alcohol and drugs by students are felt not only by students and such students' families, but by such students' communities and the Nation, which can ill afford to lose such students' skills, talents, and vitality.
``(6) While use of illegal drugs is a serious problem among a minority of teenagers, alcohol use is far more widespread. The proportion of high school students using alcohol, though lower than a decade ago, remains unacceptably high. By the 8th grade, 70 percent of youth report having tried alcohol and by the 12th grade, about 88 percent have used alcohol. Alcohol use by young people can and does have adverse consequences for users, their families, communities, schools, and colleges.
``(7) Alcohol and tobacco are widely used by young people. Such use can, and does, have adverse consequences for young people, their families, communities, schools, and colleges. Drug prevention programs for youth that address only controlled drugs send an erroneous message that alcohol and tobacco do not present significant problems, or that society is willing to overlook their use. To be credible, messages opposing illegal drug use by youth should address alcohol and tobacco as well.
``(8) Every day approximately 3,000 children start smoking. Thirty percent of all secondary school seniors are smokers. Half of all new smokers begin smoking before the age of 14, 90 percent of such smokers begin before the age of 21, and the average age of the first use of smokeless tobacco is under the age of 10. Use of tobacco products has been linked to serious health problems. Drug education and prevention programs that include tobacco have been effective in reducing teenage use of tobacco.
``(9) Drug and violence prevention programs are essential components of a comprehensive strategy to promote school safety and to reduce the demand for and use of drugs throughout the Nation. Schools and local organizations in communities throughout the Nation have a special responsibility to work together to combat the growing epidemic of violence and illegal drug use and should measure the success of their programs against clearly defined goals and objectives.
``(10) Students must take greater responsibility for their own well-being, health, and safety if schools and communities are to achieve the goals of providing a safe, disciplined, and drug-free learning environment.