Kids Afraid and Worried About School Violence; Online Chat With Leading Child Trauma Expert Dr. Bruce Perry Scheduled This Friday

March 15, 2001

NEW YORK, NY — On Friday, March 16th at 1:30 pm EST, Scholastic (Nasdaq: SCHL – news), the global children’s media and publishing company, will host a kids’ online chat on school violence with Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and a special Scholastic consultant on child psychology and behavior. Dr. Perry, one of the nation’s leading experts on the impact of school violence and traumatic experiences on children and teenagers, will answer questions from students across the country, from “why does violence happen?” to “what should I do if someone I know talks about being violent or makes hateful remarks?” The chat is part of a special online report “School Violence: Staying Safe” currently appearing on Scholastic News Zone(TM) (, a leading source on the web for age- appropriate, daily news content for kids.

Scholastic is hosting the chat in support of the large percentage of kids across the country who report feeling unsafe in school after the most recent shootings. Scholastic is conducting an online poll of students nationwide in grades 1 through 8, asking “Do you feel safe in school?” The question was posted at 4 pm EST on Friday, March 9th. By noon on Tuesday, March 13th, more than 45,000 students had already responded. Approximately 70 percent answered no, they don’t feel safe in school, while 30 percent said they do. Of boys who responded, 77 percent said they don’t feel safe, while 52 percent of girls said they don’t feel safe. Yet experts say that school violence is on the decline. According to The National School Safety Center, school associated violent deaths have declined 71 percent since 1992. In fact, there is a 1 in 3 million chance of being the victim of a fatally violent act in one of America’s schools.

“Through Scholastic Magazines and Scholastic News Zone, we communicate with kids nationwide every day, and they tell us that school violence is one of their biggest fears and concerns. The highly publicized school tragedies are giving kids the sense that they’re not safe, but it’s important to note that school is still the safest place for kids,” said David Goddy, Editor-in-Chief of Scholastic Magazines. “No violence is acceptable, but the number of incidents is decreasing, and new anti-violence programs in schools across the country will help. With this comprehensive special report, the poll, and on Friday the chat with Dr. Perry, Scholastic hopes to give kids some perspective on school violence and some comfort during this troubling time.”

Dr. Perry leads a multidisciplinary team at the Child Trauma Academy at Baylor College of Medicine that provides direct clinical services and research with children and families impacted by violence, abuse, neglect and other traumatic events. His groundbreaking studies in the areas of childhood trauma have found that child abuse and neglect may alter brain development, affecting the health and well-being of children in various ways. His expertise has led to ongoing consulting and training roles with various public systems working with children, including the FBI’s Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime and Crimes Against Children Program. Dr. Perry has been consulted on many high profile incidents involving traumatized children including the Columbine school shootings.

Media may audit the online chat by going to:

Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher of educational magazines for grades pre-K through 12. Scholastic News, grade-by-grade classroom magazines for grades 1-6, gives kids their own thought-provoking, interactive news weekly through which they can understand current events and relate them to their world. Junior Scholastic is a bimonthly current events magazine for grades 6-8. The magazines’ online companion Scholastic News Zone is a free resource for teachers, parents and children that can be used in the classroom or at home to discuss current events and develop students’ understanding of how national and international news affects their lives. Scholastic News Zone’s special reports have won high praise from teachers for sensitive coverage of major breaking news.

The Scholastic poll is not based on a scientifically designed sample of the student population. It is designed as an educational activity to encourage student thought and debate, and to give students an opportunity to express their opinions. The respondents are self-selected, based on teachers who want their classes to participate and students who want to participate individually.

About Scholastic Inc.

Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. A global children’s publishing and media company serving the needs of parents, teachers, and children, Scholastic provides proprietary book and software distribution through school book clubs, school book fairs and to classrooms, as well as through the retail trade. Since 1920, Scholastic has created quality educational materials for schools and has expanded its reach to include the distribution of books, software, toys, online learning services and television programming directly to the home. Scholastic recently acquired Grolier, the leading print and online publisher of children’s reference materials and the leader in children’s direct to home book clubs. Internationally, Scholastic operates wholly owned companies in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Scholastic web site is a leading provider of educational services online for parents, teachers and children.