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Program On Curtailing School Violence

Mothers Against Violence In Schools (MAVIS) will present a public program in

the lecture hall at Newtown High School at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 20.

The program was arranged by Wendy Beres, a local resident, who said she has

invited representatives of the Board of Education, PTA Council, the police,

and the school administration.

"This is an informational meeting with Linda DeLucia of MAVIS and school

representatives to gather information on implementing this program in Newtown

to educate students in non-violent responses," Mrs Beres said. "The meeting is

open to any members of the public who are interested in curtailing violent

behavior in Newtown schools."

Mrs DeLucia is executive director and president of MAVIS of Massachusetts, an

organization modeled after the first MAVIS chapter established in California

by a mother whose teenage son was killed by another student at school.

"MAVIS is similar to DARE, the anti-drug program that already is in the

Newtown schools, except that it works to change the way students perceive and

accept violence," Mrs Beres said.

Mrs DeLucia said the program focuses on pre-kindergarten elementary through

eighth-grade students. Second Step, a program MAVIS promotes, teaches skills

in empathy, impulse control and anger management.

The program targets skill deficits that put children at risk, not only for

violence, but also for alcohol abuse, drug abuse and suicide as well, Mrs

DeLucia said. The program also build high self esteem and teaches children the

skills they need to resist peer pressure.