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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, December 15, 1997
Volume 33--Number 50
Pages 1993-2031

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

        Coast Guard in Miami--2018
        Democratic National Committee dinners in Miami--2024, 2028
        Gubernatorial candidate Buddy MacKay, luncheon in Miami--2021
    Kennedy Center Honors reception--1995
    Metropolitan Baptist Church--1994
    New York City
        Bronx community--2005
        Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner--2009
        Democratic National Committee Hispanic gala--2012
        Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change--2017
        Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 50th anniversary--2002
    Radio address--1993


    Presidential Citizens Medal to Elinor Guggenheimer--2018

Communications to Congress

    Burma, letter reporting--2000
    Emigration policies of certain former Eastern Bloc states, letter 
        transmitting report--1997

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Emigration policies of certain former Eastern Bloc states, 
    Palestine Liberation Organization, memorandum--1998

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in New York City--2017

Letters and Messages

    Shelia Davis Lawrence, letter--1998


    Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week--1999

Statements by the President

    Death of Jeanette E. Rockefeller--1998
    Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, 40th anniversary--1998
    Indictment of Henry G. Cisneros--2030
    Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change--2017

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--2031
    Checklist of White House press releases--2031
    Digest of other White House announcements--2030
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--2031


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[[Page 1993]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1993]
Monday, December 15, 1997
Volume 33--Number 50
Pages 1993-2031
Week Ending Friday, December 12, 1997
The President's Radio Address

December 6, 1997

    Good morning. Yesterday the community of West Paducah, Kentucky, 
came together to remember the three young girls struck down at school in 
a terrifying act of violence. Our entire Nation has been shaken by this 
tragedy. West Paducah, on the southern shore of the Ohio River, is at 
the center of our circle of prayers. America has lost three beautiful 
daughters. We mourn deeply with the Steger, James, and Hadley families, 
with those students who were wounded and their families, and with all 
those whose lives were changed forever by a 14-year-old with a stolen 
    We may never know what drove the son of a respected church elder to 
extinguish the lives of classmates bowed in prayer. But in the aftermath 
we've seen great heroism, generosity, and love: a courageous act by a 
classmate to head off more violence, an outpouring of understanding for 
the sister of the alleged killer, the donation of organs for patients 
desperately in need, an entire nation reaching out in support. One 
terrible act could not poison the deep well of goodness West Paducah has 
drawn upon in this moment of grief.
    Now the rest of us must do everything in our power to prevent such 
things from happening again. At a time when we're trying to prepare our 
children for the opportunities of the 21st century, high school seniors 
are more likely to take weapons to school than to take calculus in 
school. This is unacceptable. We simply cannot educate our children, and 
they cannot learn and live up to their full potential, when violence and 
drugs threaten their safety in school.
    One thing we must do right away is to gain a much clearer view of 
the problem. Sadly, our national picture of school violence is neither 
complete, nor up to date. We know more about the overall patterns of car 
theft in America than we do about the harm that comes to our children at 
    So today I'm directing Attorney General Reno and Education Secretary 
Riley to launch a major initiative to produce for the first time an 
annual report card on school violence. This report card will contain the 
data we all need in order to boost efforts to prevent violence from 
happening in the first place.
    School safety is a challenge not only for police and parents, 
teachers and school officials, the scourge of young violence poses a 
challenge to every American. It demands that we do everything possible 
to find safe places for our children to learn and play and grow. It 
demands that schools follow a policy of zero tolerance for guns. It 
demands that we teach our children basic values, the unblinking 
distinction between right and wrong. It demands that we exercise 
responsibility when we create images for our children to see. Most 
urgently, it demands that whenever possible, we reach out to those who 
may be troubled, angry, or alone before they do something destructive 
and perhaps irreversible to themselves or others.
    Youth violence represents an insistent, angry wake-up call to every 
parent, every teacher, every religious leader, every student. If we 
answer that call, we can ensure that the memory of Kayce, Nicole, and 
Jessica will help us to prevent other such tragedies. In the words of 
the girls' final prayer, we can ensure that their light will shine 
forever more.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 5:18 p.m. on December 5 in the 
Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on 
December 6. In his remarks, the President referred to Kayce Steger, 
Nicole Hadley, and Jessica James, Heath High School students killed by 
gunfire following a prayer meeting; Michael Carneal, the alleged gunman, 
and his sister Kelly; and Ben Strong, a student who acted to end the 

[[Page 1994]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1994-1995]
Monday, December 15, 1997
Volume 33--Number 50
Pages 1993-2031
Week Ending Friday, December 12, 1997
Remarks at the Metropolitan Baptist Church

December 7, 1997

    Thank you. Thank you, Reverend Hicks, Mrs. Hicks, members of the 
ministry. Thank you, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, for telling me 
I should come here today, thank you. I must say, I would rather be in 
the choir than in the pulpit. [Laughter] They were wonderful. Thank you. 
Mr. Mayor, City Council Chair Cropp, and members of the council; Dr. 
Swygert and Mrs. Swygert; my good friend Maya Angelou, thank you for 
being here; David Du Bois. I thank three members of my Cabinet--
Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman; the Secretary of Transportation, 
Rodney Slater; and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, 
Frank Raines--for coming with me, and many members of the White House 
staff and friends. We're all glad to be here, and we have a happy heart 
after hearing all the wonderful music and seeing the people here, and 
especially the children.
    Sean and Ahjah and the other children gave me the letters and the 
drawings; I was back there reading them. One letter said, ``Can Project 
Spirit come and visit the White House and see the Christmas tree?'' 
[Laughter] Yes. As a matter of fact, Dr. Hicks, anybody, any of these 
children in your youth group you want to bring, just bus them on in. 
We'd be glad to see them, and we'll arrange it. I'd like that.
    Now, the letters contain some interesting things. One young man 
wrote, ``I'm not trying to get myself in trouble, but I've always had a 
crush on Hillary.'' [Laughter] Now, I can certainly understand that. 
[Laughter] A lot of the letters were serious. They said, can I do more 
to get rid of violence, guns. A lot of them said very specific things 
about what they'd like to do to make their schools better.
    Why are we here today? Or, at least, why am I here today, instead of 
down the street at Foundry, where I normally am on Sunday? Ephesians 
says we should speak the truth with our neighbors, for we are members, 
one of another. I believe that. I think that is the single most 
important political insight, or social insight, in the Bible. And I 
think it is what should drive us as we behave together. We have to 
decide whether we are members, one of the other: Is my destiny caught up 
in yours; are your children my children; do you care about my daughter; 
are we part of the same family of God? It's not enough to say that we 
are all equal in the eyes of God. We are all also connected in the eyes 
of God.
    Now, just because we have responsibilities one to another doesn't 
mean we don't have a primary responsibility to ourselves. God helps 
those who help themselves. One great athlete once said, ``You know, it's 
amazing, the more I practice, the luckier I get.'' [Laughter] So we have 
responsibilities to ourselves, but we owe a lot to each other.
    I come here to say that I don't believe our National Government has 
always been the best neighbor to the City of Washington, Mr. Mayor, Ms. 
Cropp, Congresswoman Norton, but we are committed to becoming a better 
neighbor. Washington has gotten a lot of lectures from people in 
national politics about being more responsible, from making the schools 
work better, to the streets become safer, to the neighborhoods having 
more hope and economic opportunity. But in the essence of our 
Constitution is the idea that responsibility requires freedom.
    And so I believe in the independence of Washington, DC. I want 
Washington, DC, to be able to run its own affairs. I want the crime to 
go down and the schools to go up and the neighborhoods to be strong and 
full. We are trying to do better. In this last meeting of Congress we 
did more things to take loads off of Washington that it should not have, 
and to give Washington responsibilities that it should have. And we must 
do more. I met with the mayor, the city council, the control board, and 
a lot of community leaders just a few days ago, a meeting that the 
Congresswoman requested. And we talked about what we could do together.
    But I want to say to you that I come here at this Christmas season 
to say that I hope one of the gifts that I and our administration can 
leave for the 21st century is a National Capital that is a shining city 
on the hill for all America, that every American is proud of. I want a 
National Capital where every child looks like the children that I heard 
sing and who brought me those letters today, where they're all filled 
with a spirit of their own

[[Page 1995]]

goodness, where they all believe they are children of God, where they 
all are animated to believe that they can have hope to live out their 
dreams. And this place symbolizes that. Wouldn't you like it if your 
city and your country worked the way this church did? Wouldn't you like 

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