Check from weeks 1 and 2 of the National...


September 24, 1994

AN ATTENDANCE check from weeks 1 and 2 of the National Football League shows the lowest of the low -- fan-wise, that is -- would do far better if they moved to Baltimore.

Week One, the Los Angeles Rams drew a little under 33,000 fans. Wow. That almost half-filled the Anaheim Stadium.

Week Two, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attracted fewer than 37,000 fans to a home game. Whoopee.

Compare those numbers to the fan attraction of the no-name Baltimore CFL team. The game against Sacramento drew 42,000 at antiquated but beloved Memorial Stadium. Remember, this is CFL football, which is a notch or two below NFL quality. Few of the local stars are well known. It's not much of a draw. And the stadium is less than ideal. But it is pro football, and this is indeed a football-hungry town.

So remember, 33,000 in L.A.; 37,000 in Tampa; and 42,000 in Baltimore.

Which is the best football town? Where would you wish to locate your football franchise? If the powers that be in Florida and California do their homework, they might figure it out. Seems like simple bottom-line business arithmetic.

* * *

EVIDENCE of how America's schools are becoming increasingly dangerous places is documented in a recent U.S. Department of Justice report on public school crime.

Among the unsettling findings:

* More than 400,000 students 12 to 19 years old were estimated to have been victims of assaults, rapes and robberies in schools during a six-month period.

* Seven percent of all students 12 to 19 years old were victims of property crime.

* Sixteen percent of students said they witnessed teachers being attacked or threatened by students.

* In city schools, roughly 24 percent of black students and 18 percent of white students feared being attacked going to and from school. The figures among suburban kids were 15 percent for black students, 12 student for white students.

According to another Justice Department study, 80 percent of 12 year olds in the U.S. will become the victims of an attempted or completed violent crime during their lifetimes. About 50 percent will be victimized two or more times.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services recommends some measures families can take to keep children out of harmful situations.

Parents first should calmly discuss fears of crime their children might have. Moms and dads also should teach their kids to travel with friends, to walk along main streets instead of taking shortcuts, to designate an authority figure at school to whom a child can turn for help in a threatening situation, to not resist robberies or threats, especially if the attackers are armed or moving in a group.

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