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SCI Corporate Communications
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Dignity Memorial(TM) Makes Significant Contribution With Community Safety Program; Escape School(R) - School Violence Presentations Continue

HOUSTON, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dignity Memorial Escape School -- School Violence program will be presented in Phoenix, Ariz., and Nashville, Tenn., in April and May, respectively. Dignity Memorial, a network of North American funeral, cremation and cemetery providers, principally owned by Service Corporation International (NYSE: SRV), began sponsoring the Escape School program in response to numerous school violence incidents in recent years, including the April 21, 1999, shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., and two occurrences near San Diego, Calif., this month.

Although recent reports on school safety indicate a decline in school crime since 1992, including violent crime against students, the number of multiple homicides committed at schools has increased. In addition, studies show that today's students are more apprehensive about their safety at school than in the past.

"Like any civic-minded company, we are very interested in the security of the children and teens in our communities. We are parents and grandparents too, and we want children to feel safe at school," said Donna Hastings, Managing Director of Corporate Education and Communication for Service Corporation International, the parent company of Dignity Memorial.

In a proactive response to concerns raised by school violence, Dignity Memorial providers are working with Bob Stuber, a former police officer and national safety expert, to deliver a program that will help dispel the fears of students while offering sound advice about how to survive the unthinkable. Stuber, who also developed Dignity Memorial's Escape School -- Abduction Prevention program, focused on emphasizing the choices available to students, even in perilous situations.

"Whether the subject is school violence or stranger abduction, Escape School teaches children and teens that they do have choices, and they can have some control of the situation. Although we as parents may worry that discussing frightening topics will create fear among our children, we've realized from our Escape School presentations that the fear already exists, and open discussion of possible responses to threatening situations helps reduce that fear," said Stuber.

The Escape School -- School Violence program teaches common sense protective strategies such as the best places to hide, how to safely check hallways and courtyards for potential danger, and smart escape methods including which exits should or should not be used. The program was most recently presented in seminars in Oklahoma City, Okla., Louisville, Ky., and Houston, Texas.

As its name suggests, the Escape School -- Abduction Prevention program teaches children how to foresee and avoid possible kidnappings. The program has been directly credited with foiling three abduction attempts. In the last four years, Escape School -- Abduction Prevention has been presented in approximately 600 venues to more than one million children.

For more information, visit the Dignity Memorial website at or the Escape School website at

Contact: Greg Bolton -- Manager / Corp. Communications

Tel: (713) 525-5235
SOURCE Service Corporation International
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Company News On-Call: http: // or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 104532
CONTACT: Greg Bolton, Manager / Corp. Communications of Service Corporation International, 713-525-5235