PROGRAM AGAINST HATE UNVEILED AT BLAKE HIGH SCHOOL - Mitch Perry

05/04/04

This morning at Blake High School in Tampa, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, as well as members of the FBI, the FDLE & local education leaders came together to preview a new CD Rom that deals with young people dealing with hate crimes, and how prejudice can grow into serious criminal activity..

The project - the culimination of a year and a half of work - is to be distributed to schools throughout Florida, and used in whatever fashion local education officials believe is best.

U.S. Attorney Paul Perez discussed the project, entitled, "About Face: Turning Away From Hate" (roll tape#1 o.q."in the learning process")

The Project was produced by the Florida Regional Community Policiing Institute at St. Petersburg College, with funding - about $60,000 - coming from the U.S. Justice Department. ..

Perez described the Hate Crimes Working Group, which was created by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Florida in 1998 to respond to church arsons that were happening across the Country...The group consists of a variety of federal and local law enforcement agencies to work on projects that can combate hate crimes....Perez said after the 9/11

Terrorist attacks, the group was never more relevant (roll tape#2 o.q.'hate crimes")

With that, a 10 minute segment of the CD Rom was shown...The scene shows how different high school students deal with reading a racist flier that is found in different parts of the school campus.

2 Blake High School students are featured in the film...Senior Alex Fultz says he hasn't had to deal with too many hateful incidents at Blake, but has heard about other incidents (roll tape#3 o.q."

17 year old Blake High Student Lisa Newton also has a prominent part in the film.. .....She says she's honored that she's part of a project that could, hopefully, raise the consciousness (roll tape#4 o.q."awesome") Newton says she hasn't seen outright racists acts at Blake, but acts of insensitivity (roll tape#5 o.q."by it")

Aileen LaHaye is with St. Petersburg College's Regional Community Policing Institute....She says the next step is to contact schools throughout the state (roll tape#6 o.q."

Will Daniels is from the U.S. Attorney's Office and a Member of the Hate Crimes Working Group...He said that he thinks the CD Rom will be a dynamic tool for social change ...and told some Blake Students in attendance at the news conference that it's up to young people like them to make change happen (roll tape#6 o.q."to utilize this tool")

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