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High school students develops program to stem violence

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A program developed by an Oklahoma City teenager to discourage domestic violence among Indians is now in ten schools in southeastern Oklahoma.

The project by 18-year-old Claire Richard has won state and national awards, including the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma Champions of Health award.

Richard presented her idea to Choctaw Nation leaders two years ago. Her idea is to train high school students to teach elementary students that "hitting is not cool."

Joyce Wells with the Choctaw Nation's Healthy Lifestyles program says she was astounded by the simplicity of the plan.

Richard says the idea is that if young children are taught nonviolent ways to resolve conflicts, they'll be less likely to become abusers as adults.
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