President Bush saluted three California schools Monday for their efforts to provide a drug-free learning environment for children. He singled out the Live Oak Elementary School and declared that "every school in this country can be safe and drug-free."
In a ceremony in the Rose Garden, Bush painted an idyllic portrait of Live Oak: "The residents fill only five pages of the phone book. One traffic light. No hospital, no jail. Just a drugstore, a few restaurants, a post office."
But, he said, "drugs got into the school and things went downhill fast," until the school developed "a drug-free education program that is gradually influencing the face of the entire community."
Honoring teachers, principals, community leaders, parents and students from schools throughout the nation, Bush said: "You understand that students have a right to learn in drug-free schools."
Later Monday, in a commencement speech at Cheltenham High School in a suburb of Philadelphia, Bush exhorted the 331 graduating seniors to show the same idealism and devotion to country that led Chinese students to confront armed soldiers and die for democracy.