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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Duke University Rape Investigation to Continue; Girls Who Fight; Moussaoui Jurors Relive 9/11
Aired April 11, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. And thanks for joining us, everybody. Paula has the night off.
Tonight, the mystery that is ruining reputations and tearing apart two proud schools -- are we any closer to learning the truth?
COLLINS: "Outside the Law" -- was a brutal and violent crime committed in this house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too many people are blaming the victim.
COLLINS: If players on the Duke lacrosse team attacked a woman, why don't the DNA tests show any matches?
MICHAEL NIFONG, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: My presence means that this case is not going away.
COLLINS: It's a case that is causing anger and outrage. But will it ever get to court?
"Vital Signs" -- a tale of two mothers. Which one's really protecting her child?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything gets sanitized. And I feel good about it.
COLLINS: It is the moms who constantly cleans or the one who lets her baby eat off the floor?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, then, when you're done with this, do you disinfect her and wipe her off?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
COLLINS: Could exposure to germs be good for your children?
And the "Eye Opener" -- girls who fight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She hit the teacher, and then I came in and hit the teacher also.
COLLINS: What's making our daughters more aggressive and more violent?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are being given permission.
COLLINS: Are the clues all around us?
COLLINS: And also ahead tonight, you're going to see what a controversial school is doing to straighten out kids. It is using electric shock machines to teach them good behavior. Some parents are outraged.
But we begin with the continuing developments in the Duke rape investigation. For weeks, this story has been in the headlines, members of the prestigious university's lacrosse team allegedly raping a stripper at a wild party. Just 24 hours ago, we heard from the players' -- lacrosse -- DNA tests, and the fact that they failed to connect team members the alleged attack.
But, today the DA made that perfectly clear, that does not mean the case is closed.
Jason Carroll has been working the story all day and just filed this report from Durham, North Carolina, for tonight's "Outside the Law."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should have been handcuffed. They should have been arrested.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a vocal audience that gathered for a legal forum at North Carolina Central University, the same school attended by a young woman, an exotic dancer, who says she was raped by three Duke University lacrosse players.
The forum was arranged last week in response to accusations. Most students came here to listen and to respond to what Durham's district attorney would say about the case. And what he said did not disappoint.
MICHAEL NIFONG, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: A lot has been said in the press, particularly by some attorneys yesterday, about, this case should go away. I hope that you will understand by the fact that I am here this morning that my presence here means that this case is not going away.
CARROLL: District attorney Michael Nifong told the audience he's still waiting for more DNA test results. As for the results that are in, showing no match between the players and the accuser, Nifong explained it this way.
NIFONG: It doesn't mean nothing happened it. It just means nothing was left behind.
CARROLL: Feelings about the fallout from the case were expressed here, too, mostly from students at the historically black university, who criticized the media and Duke University's handling of the case.
SHAWN CUNNINGHAM, STUDENT, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY: You have minimalized my sister to a stripper and an exotic dancer.
CUNNINGHAM: She walks in campus every day going to class, trying to provide for her family. You don't identify her as a mother. You don't identify her as a student. You don't identify her as a woman.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TOLOUPE OMOKAIYE, STUDENT, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY: We all know, that if this happened at Central, and the young lady was from another school or another persuasion, the outcome would have been different. They would have been in jail.
CARROLL: Defense attorney Bill Thomas says, the district attorney's refusal to drop the case could inflame lingering sentiments in Durham. He appealed to the accuser to put the case to rest.
BILL THOMAS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I would say to her, it's OK to come forward, to come forward and to tell the truth in this case. The agony that these young men and their families have been put through, I simply cannot describe to you in words.
CARROLL: DNA from 46 players was tested. The lone player not tested is black. The accuser says the three players who assaulted her were white. The father of the African-American player stands behind his son's team.
CHARLES SHERWOOD, FATHER OF DUKE UNIVERSITY LACROSSE PLAYER: I think there was a slight overreaction, but now that the DNA's coming in and showing that the players are pretty much innocent of any physical wrongdoing, that's a good thing. And maybe the rest of the Durham community can find that out. And maybe some peace will be restored down there.
CARROLL: Here at Duke University, the DNA test results brought some satisfaction.
KATIE GRANT, STUDENT, DUKE UNIVERSITY: I was actually kind of happy, because I really felt like they were -- the boys were treated unfairly, you know, by the community.
STEPHANIE OKPALA, STUDENT, DUKE UNIVERSITY: It was like a sigh, like a breath of relief. I really, really hoped and prayed that it would come negative. But people -- there's still talk about, you know, it not being 100 percent sure.
CARROLL: Defense attorneys say, one point they are now sure of, since the DA won't drop the case, they must prepare themselves for what could be his next likely move. That, they say, is when he presents his case to the grand jury, seeking formal charges against three players.
CARROLL: And the district attorney would have to complete his investigation before presenting his case to the grand jury, and he has not indicated how long it would take him to do that -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Jason Carroll, thank you.
And joining me now, Seyward Darby. She's the editor of "The Chronicle," Duke's University's student newspaper.
Thanks for being with us, Seyward.
You know, last night, it seemed like there was a little bit of cause for relief around campus that this actually may be all over pretty soon. But the DA did say today that there's no way that he is just dropping the case outright because the DNA did not match. And we heard in Jason's piece some students saying, well, maybe there is a little talk about charges being filed. What's the word? What are you hearing on campus?
SEYWARD DARBY, EDITOR, "THE CHRONICLE": Well, I think the sense of relief that was expressed last night is definitely running through the student community.
A lot of students -- I mean, no student wants to think that a peer is guilty of such a heinous crime as gang rape. And, so, I think a lot of students were relieved to see that the DNA test came back negative. Some people are saying, that's it. That proves that they're innocent. Other people are awaiting the DA to make his next move, whatever it might be.
And the fact that there's this gray area, this evidence that he might be bringing forward whatever it may be that might somehow lead to charges is certainly causing more curiosity and intrigue on campus among students.
COLLINS: If you had to choose what the majority would be, the majority of students thinking that the charges could come, that the DA may have more? Or what are they saying, most of the people?
DARBY: I -- I don't -- I don't think there's necessarily a majority opinion. I think, right now, students are just kind of in limbo, waiting to see what happens.
I think that, as a result of the DNA tests coming back yesterday, a lot of people are saying, likely, this is not going to go anywhere. But the fact that, as I said, there's this gray area, and the DA today asserting publicly that he will be moving forward, kind of changes people's opinions.
COLLINS: Do you think some of the students there at -- at your college are -- are feeling like the victim is being blamed? We also heard that in Jason's piece, a couple of students from NCCU saying that the victim is being blamed?
DARBY: I definitely think that there are some students on Duke's campus who share the sentiments that many of the North Carolina Central students were expressing, that this woman has been -- her reputation, though not her name, has been dragged through the mud.
However, a lot of people are saying that the lacrosse players' reputation has been dragged through the mud as well, and that it will take them, if they're found innocent, years to get over it. So, I mean, it's -- it's a matter of opinion, who you talk to, who is saying which reputation has been damaged worse.
But I -- I definitely think that people are saying that all parties are being really hung out there right now, and reputations are being bashed.
COLLINS: Right. And -- and we have come to you several times now here at CNN, Seyward, for kind of your thoughts on the eyes and ears of what's happening there.
So, as we talk to you tonight, have you had a chance or have you heard the lacrosse players themselves saying anything about these DNA results?
Well, yesterday, when we found out about the results, we sent several reporters out. And we sent one reporter to find the lacrosse players on campus. Many of them live together in a section of a residence hall.
And the lacrosse players in the residence hall declined to comment, asked that the reporter leave. Some of them were watching the press conference on television at the time. We did get one player, Matt Danowski, who is a junior, an outstanding player on the team, to make a comment.
Essentially, what he said was: We saw this coming. We have been proclaiming our innocence all along, so this is no surprise to us.
And that's exactly what the defense attorneys were saying yesterday downtown in Durham.
COLLINS: All right. We, of course, will keep our eye on it. And I bet we will talk with you again. Seyward Darby, thank you.
DARBY: Thank you.
COLLINS: Young men are at the center of the controversy at Duke University. But at schools around the nation lately, girls are getting in trouble for all sorts of astonishing misbehavior. What's making girls violent?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kelli Arena in Alexandria Virginia, where jurors in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial heard more emotional testimony from victims' family members and survivors, this time from the attack on the Pentagon -- details to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: And, as we have just seen, the aftermath of September 11 is constantly in the headlines. So, are you ready for 9/11 at the movie theater?
But, right now, our countdown of the top 10 stories at CNN.com. More than 17 million of you logged on to our Web site today.
At number 10, in Washington state, a murder trial under way for a 15-year-old boy accused of fatally beating and stabbing a 13-year-old special education student. The defendant has been charged as an adult and could get 20 to 26 years in prison, if convicted.
At number nine -- a suicide bomber attack an outdoor religious festival in Pakistan, killing at least 42 people. Pakistan's military has been put on high alert.
We will have numbers eight and seven when our countdown continues.
COLLINS: Still ahead, a school that may shock you, literally. Why are they using electric shock as a punishment and therapy?
But, right now, in our "Security Watch," a judge, a jury and survivors are reliving some of the most painful moments of the 9/11 attacks. They are even listening, for the first time, to the final words of some of the victims in recordings made just before they died.
The jury will decide whether a convicted al Qaeda terrorist lives or dies. Prosecutors say Zacarias Moussaoui knew about the upcoming attacks when he was captured before 9/11, and he could have prevented them.
Kelli Arena has been covering the sentencing trial and has just filed this report.
ARENA (voice-over): As prosecutors try to convince jurors that al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui should be executed, they have been showing gruesome evidence for three days, today, from the attack on the Pentagon.
Pictures of charred bodies and human remains flashed on screens in courtroom. Two survivors described crawling on their hands and knees in the dark, fighting smoke inhalation to stay alive.
Army Lieutenant colonel John Thurman told jurors how a curtain of fire came pouring down over his office wall. Navy Lieutenant Nancy McKeown said, every time she took a breath, "It felt like my insides were on fire."
Both said their anger about the attack gave them the will to survive.
Shari Tolbert's husband, Vince, a Naval intelligence officer, wasn't so lucky. He was killed instantly. When asked how she had been affected by her loss, Shari Tolbert answered resent resentfully through tears: "I get to go to bed alone. That's what I get."
Military Police Officer Jose Rojas described how he tried to rescue people from the Pentagon windows, telling the jury that one man was so badly burned, "He slid back because his skin came off into my hands."
At times, jurors fought back tears. But, through most of the testimony, they managed to remain straight-faced. The prosecutors also have brought in witnesses from the World Trade Center attacks in New York. Jurors heard from the wife of Kevin Cosgrove, whose dramatic final call to 911 was played for the jury Monday.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KEVIN COSGROVE, KILLED IN SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS: It's really bad. It's black. It's arid. Does anybody else want to chime in here? We're young men. We're not ready to die.
OPERATOR: I understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARENA: Wendy Cosgrove told juror: "I don't think I can ever get used to the fact that I'm a widow. The slightest thing can set me off, like seeing an old couple hand in hand. That was supposed to be us."
There has also been the recording of a 911 call from Melissa Doy. She was on the 83rd floor of the south tower, pleading for help.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MELISSA DOY, KILLED IN SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS: I'm going to die. I know it.
OPERATOR: Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm, stay calm.
DOY: Oh, my God.
OPERATOR: You're doing a good job, ma'am. You're doing a good job.
DOY: It's so hot. I'm burning up.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ARENA: Help never arrived. During all this testimony, Zacarias Moussaoui varied between listening intently, smiling and yawning. He seemed completely unaffected. But, at one point, as prosecutors played four video clips showing the Pentagon crash, Moussaoui could be seen nodding and mouthing the Arabic words "Allah Akbar," meaning "God is great."
Late today, prosecutors turned the jury's attention to the fourth plane, United Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. They heard cockpit transmissions taped by air traffic controllers as hijackers stormed the cockpit.
"Mayday, mayday, mayday," yell the pilots. "Mayday. Get out of here. Get out of here."
They also heard summaries of calls made from the plane to family and friends on the ground. Several passengers said they were planning to take back the plane, including passenger Todd Beamer, whose famous last words were "Let's roll."
ARENA: Tomorrow, the jury will hear the cockpit voice recorder played publicly for the very first time from Flight 93. In fact, it's the only voice recorder that survived 9/11 intact.
The court will not release that tape to the media, though. So, we will just be able to share transcripts with our viewers -- Heidi.
COLLINS: All right, Kelli Arena, thank you.
The terror and heartbreak of 9/11 aren't just in the news. Pretty soon, they will be playing at a movie theater near you. Is that entertainment?
And why are so many girls losing control? What's making it acceptable for girls to fight?
But now our CNN.com countdown continues with number eight -- the arrest of Italy's most wanted man, alleged top Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano. He's been on the run for more than 40 years.
And number seven -- the Country Music Television Awards. Keith Urban won video of the year for his song "A Better Life," while Carrie Underwood -- you know, "American Idol" -- was only double honoree, taking home best breakthrough video and best video from a female artist -- artist, that is.
Stay with us -- numbers six and five when we come back.
COLLINS: As we saw before the break, families of 9/11 victims are reliving the horror this week during the sentencing trial of al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. But four-and-a-half years after the 9/11 attacks, we are all about to get a test of how well the wounds have healed. The first big movies on the terror attacks are about to come out, one of them, already controversial just because of its trailer.
Entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson takes us "Beyond the Headlines" tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "UNITED 93")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I am on a plane that has been hijacked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The trailer for Universal Pictures' "United 93" comes with a familiar notice: The following preview has been approved for all audiences, but not all audiences approve of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I could see how some people would find it offensive.
ANDERSON: In New York, enough patrons complained that one theater pulled the trailer temporarily.
PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, EXHIBITOR RELATIONS: Usually, people have no idea what trailers are going to show before a movie. So, if a trailer for "United 93" comes on the screen, it is pretty much a surprise to everyone. For some audience members, it is just, I think, a -- a little shocking to them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "UNITED 93")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: CNN is reporting a light civil aircraft has just hit the World Trade Center.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The film depicts the hijacking of the flight on 9/11 and the passenger uprising before the plane's crash in Pennsylvania.
In a statement, Universal said, "This film gives audiences a chance to confront events and issues surrounding a day that is seared into our national memory, and its trailer honestly reflects that."
The statement did not address whether it was appropriate to show the trailer to people who weren't expecting it. Universal declined CNN's request for an interview.
PETER GUBER, CO-HOST, "SUNDAY MORNING SHOOTOUT": I think the marketing department, by definition, has to be sensitive to these issues.
ANDERSON: Producer and former studio chief Peter Guber, co-host of AMC's "Sunday Morning Shootout," says Universal's task is to make people aware of the film without alienating them.
GUBER: They want to touch that nerve, but they don't want to make it so burnt and so raw that the audience pulls back. They want the audience to lean forward. They don't want the audience to be critical. They want them to be curious.
ANDERSON: Universal did line up support for the film from all the families of Flight 93 victims, including Alice Hoagland, mother of passenger Mark Bingham.
ALICE HOAGLAND, MOTHER OF SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIM: Director Paul Greengrass did a remarkable good job of gaining the support and the enthusiasm of the Flight 93 families.
ANDERSON: But the families' backing doesn't guarantee audiences are ready to see 9/11-themed movies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's too soon for that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I definitely don't want to see it.
ANDERSON: "United 93" opens later this month. In August, Paramount releases another 9/11-related movie, Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center," starring Nicolas Cage. What may bode well for those films is the success of A&E's TV movie about "Flight 93." It drew almost six million viewers in January, a record for the network. But there's a difference between watching a movie at home vs. a crowded theater.
GUBER: The question will be, how will they do in that communal setting? I think very well. And I think part of the reason it will do well is because of you. The controversy in the media about this subject is just what this film needs. Without that noise, it wouldn't cut through the big white noise.
ANDERSON: "United 93," and "World Trade Center" after it, will test whether the public is ready to see the nation's worst tragedy dramatized on the big screen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is going to upset a lot of people. But I think people need to see it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "UNITED 93")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: United 93, clear for takeoff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Brooke Anderson, CNN, Los Angeles.
COLLINS: As we just heard, one of the passengers on United Flight 93 was Mark Bingham, whose mother, Alice Hoagland, is standing by the new movie "United 93."
And she joins me now to talk about that a little bit.
You know, Alice, I can only imagine what it must be like for you to watch the last hours of your son's life unfold on a movie screen. How difficult was it for you to actually sit through that entire film?
HOAGLAND: Well, fortunately, I had my brother Vaughn (ph) and a group of Mark's friends with me, and -- and about 70 folks who represented the families of Flight 93 on the West Coast.
I tell you, it was hard. It was hard. I -- I watched Cheyenne Jackson come on board, run on board, with Mark's rugby jersey and Cal cap on, and my heart was in my throat. I saw him settle into his seat and chat amiably with Tom Burnett across the aisle, unaware of the powerful bond he was going to have to form with Tom and Todd Beamer and Jeremy Glick and the others on that flight to do what they were going to do.
COLLINS: But you are very much a supporter of getting this story out there. You think it's important.
HOAGLAND: I am. Yes, I do.
I think that it's important for several reasons. I wish I had the luxury of being able to parenthesize September 11 and say, oh, it's too soon. The fact is, I live with September 11 every day of my life. It's not ever going to be too soon for us to relive the events of September 11, because, if we don't face the continuing problems, the lessons of September 11, we are going to be facing those problems again when the next terrorist attack comes.
COLLINS: And, as you mentioned, you screened the film with other family members of Flight 93.
HOAGLAND: Yes. Right.
COLLINS: Were there any family members, Alice, who, after seeing the film, maybe expressed a little bit of -- of reservation about it, like, maybe it was much harder for them to see than they had thought in their minds?
HOAGLAND: I think we all, all were traumatized by it. We -- it was hard for us to get our thoughts together and respond, as the director satellited himself in to us at -- from his location in London and offered to answer questions for us.
We sat there, just as if we had been punched in the stomach for about 20 minutes. It was hard to watch. And, yes, some -- some family members expressed true reservation, and they were concerned about the level of -- of graphic violence.
Flight 93 was all about graphic violence. The difference is that it was a true story, and it was real, and it was a good and accurate representation of what went on...
HOAGLAND: ... both the takeover, the four young men, who -- who were screwing courage to sticking place to do the ugly, deluded thing they were about to do, where it was nicely contrasted with the courage and the heroism and the team spirit of the guys who got it together and made a run on the cockpit, in spite of overwhelming odds against them.
COLLINS: Well, Alice, I'm certainly happy, and I'm sure is director is as well, that you were pleased with the representation and the truth in the story.
COLLINS: So, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts tonight.
HOAGLAND: Thank you. Thank you.
COLLINS: Well, if you have watched TV with your kids, you probably know how much violence passes for entertainment. But, coming up, is popular culture to blame for hazing, fighting and the rage that's getting into our nation's girls?
We will also take you to a school where the students are wired, and if they misbehave, they get zapped. Is that going too far?
And here's an "Eye Opener." Could too much cleanliness actually be a reason so many children have allergies? We will tell you about that.
But, first, let's check out number six on our CNN.com countdown. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi today refused to concede in the country's elections, despite official results showing challenger Romano Prodi is the winner. Berlusconi is demanding a recount.
And number five -- Neil Entwistle, the British national accused of killing his wife and baby, today pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Massachusetts -- number four on our countdown coming up next.
COLLINS: In this half hour, we're looking at children and violence. What was one school's answer? Would you believe electric shocks on kids that get out of line?
But first, is it time we rewrite that old nursery school rhyme about girls and boys? You know, the one about sugar and spice? How about this? Young and bright and ready to fight. That's right. More girls are throwing punches and not just in the movies. Instead of "See Jane Run," it's see Jane hit. Our Jonathan Freed has more on girls with the gloves off in tonight's "Eye Opener."
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kristen (ph) is a teenager who's found a way to be at peace with herself. Even animals feel it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE : When I used to be scared, the horses used to be scared.
FREED: But not so long ago, Kristen had serious behavioral problems.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I turned 10, I'd start hitting walls when I was at angry. At times, it felt good to feel pain, just so I wouldn't have to feel the pain inside.
FREED: Soon, walls weren't enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first fight I got into, it was actually with a guy. We were like 11-years-old. And I jumped in and I started just swinging at the kid and kicking him and just screaming at him and cussing at him.
FREED: She says her unbridled rage led to her using and selling drugs and fighting with anyone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Getting suspended in school and -- like I got suspended for me and my friend, a teacher was yelling at us and we got up in their face. And she hit the teacher and then I came in and hit the teacher also.
FREED: We met Kristen (ph) at a treatment program for troubled kids called "Three Springs" in the mountains outside Huntsville, Alabama. Her case, though extreme, is by no means unique.
(on camera): Were you surprised by your findings?
PROFESSOR JAMES GARBARINO, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY: In a way, what I was surprised by was why it hadn't occurred to me earlier to look at this.
FREED (voice-over): Psychology professor James Garbarino, who's written a book called "See Jane Hit," argues aggression among girls is on the rise.
GARBARINO: Well if you look at some of the numbers, you see the Justice Department, the various state agencies that compile arrest rates saying that a generation ago for every one girl arrested for assault, there would be 10 boys arrested for assault. And more recently it's more like four boys for every one girl.
FREED: He says the problem goes beyond arrest records. Garbarino interviewed 200 girls for his book. And he says these days your daughter is likely to be bombarded with all kinds of aggressive images in pop culture, examples which could cause your child to act out at school, at home, everywhere.
(on camera): Tell me what it's like when you're starting to feel angry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I'm starting to feel angry, like my fists get all tight and my jaw clenches up.
FREED (voice-over): Kristen says she was influenced by pop culture.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you see things on T.V. or like on MTV, BET, girls fighting or -- you know, that's cool to fight you know -- people don't look up to you if you don't fight.
GARBARINO: In the past you might have said to your girl, girls don't hit and be able to back that up with what she saw in the larger culture. Today that's simply not true. It's not true. Girls do hit. And they can see evidence of that, so that they are being given permission.
FREED: Garbarino says a widely-publicized hazing incident at a suburban Chicago high school in 2003 is a perfect example of girls acting out. Five girls were hospitalized, 15 charged with misdemeanor battery.
MIKE MALES, SOCIOLOGIST: This is not a real increase in violence.
FREED: Sociologist Mike Males says society is simply more sensitive to violence now and quicker to make it a big issue.
MALES: There's very little statistical evidence that we've seen more violence among young girls. In fact, they seem to be safer and less violent today than in the past.
FREED: Karen Tisdell says she's seen girls becoming more aggressive in the 10 years she's run the treatment program here. But she doesn't put all of the blame on pop culture.
KAREN TISDELL, THREE SPRING: I don't think it's the cause. I do think that it's fueling it. I think a lot of the issues are more deep seated.
FREED: Issues like anger and abandonment. Kristen started feeling angry when her parents split up. But after a year at Three Springs, Kristen's learned to refocus her aggression.
(on camera): Do you feel that you're going to be able to keep it together? Are you going to be able to stay the person that you've become?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I think like yes I'm going to be able to be who I am. I'm not perfect and I'm going to mess up, like that's OK with me. Just as long as I'm able to bounce back up from that.
FREED (voice-over): She wants future without violence and she's convinced it's possible if she tries. Jonathan Freed, CNN, Chicago.
COLLINS: And there's this. Professor Garbarino says there are warning signs parents can look for in their daughters. Are other kids avoiding her? Is someone being hurt by her behavior? And do teachers and coaches say she's behaving badly? You might want to ask yourself those questions.
Meanwhile, we'll continue our focus on children and violence in just a moment with a visit to a school that uses electrical shocks to keep kids in line.
How much of a shock? See what happens when one of our reporters gets wired up and they push the button.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you ever worry what germs your baby might be picking up playing on the floor or with the family pet? Well, did you know that those germs might actually be good for your child? I'll have that tonight later in the show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Before that, though, No. 4 of our CNN.com countdown. Iran's president says his nation has made low-grade enriched uranium to use in nuclear power plants and denies Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons. The White House says the announcement indicates that Iran is, quote, "moving in the wrong direction."
We'll have No. 3 after this.
COLLINS: In tonight's "Mysteries of the Mind," no matter how badly your children behaved, you probably never considered giving them an electric shock to straighten them out. This next story about a school in Massachusetts may just astonish you or anger you or it might even make you wonder whether the school is on to something. Watch this with Randi Kaye and tonight's "Mysteries of the Mind."
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Antwone Nicholson's school looks more like Disneyland than a place for kids with special needs. There are pinball machines and cartoon characters, wax figures and artwork punctuate with cornflower blues and vivid pinks. Each student has a computer, healthy food, plush quarters, heavy supervision, and constant attention.
Why then would Antwone's mother, Evelyn Nicholson, be fighting like mad to get him out of this place?
EVELYN NICHOLSON, ANTWONE'S MOTHER: He would call me up crying and say, "You've got to get me out of here. I can't take this."
KAYE: Because along with the perks at this center for troubled children come the punishments. The Judge Rotenberg Center claims to be the only one in the country using electric shock aversion therapy. They call it the Graduated Electronic Decelerator, the GED. And half their students go to school each day tethered to electrodes housed in a fanny pack.
(on camera): Really bad pain on a scale of one to 10, what would you say? Ten is really bad.
KAREEM ANDERSON, ROTENBERG CENTER STUDENT: Like seven. KAYE (voice over): It's a therapy almost as old as electricity itself, banned as barbaric at a far higher voltage, illegal in some states. To Evelyn Nicholson, it is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" for kids.
Child psychiatrist David Fassler.
DAVID FASSLER, M.D., CHILD PSYCHIATRIST, UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT: This is clearly an intervention which is out of the mainstream. Personally, I worry about the ramifications and the implications long term for the kids.
KAYE: Yet, Evelyn signed a legal consent form that allowed them to strap electrodes on Antwone that deliver 65 volts of electricity by remote control. He got them one at a time each time he cussed, hit, threatened, or frightened someone.
(on camera): You still signed it?
KAYE: How come?
NICHOLSON: Because that was the only -- that was the only place they had for Antwone.
KAYE (voice over): Now she's suing her New York school district for sending Antwone out of state so they could, in her words, torture and abuse him for engaging in aggressive, unfocused behavior.
Dr. Matthew Israel has been under fire from parents and doctors and psychiatrists since he invented the electric shock device 16 years ago. Dr. Israel calls it behavioral skin shock, a bee sting, a prick, an electric spanking, nothing like the convulsive shock treatments demonized in films.
DR. MATTHEW ISRAEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER: Children who otherwise might blind themselves have been able to stop that behavior and become a much more normal life.
KAYE: Dr. Israel says he has treated 226 students on the GED. The 24/7 program costs taxpayers $213,000 per child each year.
(on camera): If you hadn't come here, what where would you be today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would be dead or in a hospital doped up on Thorazine.
KAYE (voice over): The key to his credibility, he says, are students and parents. Inside his own colorful headquarters, Dr. Israel refused to speak to CNN without them, and his lawyers, staff, cameras, and recording devices.
(on camera): When you hear people or critics of this therapy say, this is like child abuse, this is inhumane, this is torture, does it make you all very angry?
(voice over): These parents say their kids are the worst of the worst, head-bangers and biters, obsessive compulsives, out of control. A danger to themselves and others. That the GED, which is only administered with court and parental approval, saved their children's lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My daughter was punching herself constantly like that in her eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank god for the GED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wouldn't be alive today.
KAYE: According to his medical records, Antwone could also be one scary kid. He stole things, hit people, tried to sexually assault a girl.
NICHOLSON: He's 17, but he's really in between the age of a four and a five year old child. And he can't -- he really can't function, he can't think. And he's really constantly repeating himself.
KAYE: When Antwone first arrived at the center, Dr. Israel says he acted out constantly. Mouthing off got him a reprimand, physical aggression was punished with a zap. Dr. Israel says after many zaps that number dropped to near zero.
(on camera): Your mom told us that you told her it was very painful. Is that true?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. It was painful.
KAYE (voice over): Dr. Israel says his treatment is also about rewards. Kids who behave well get treats and games. Bad behavior brings a single two-second skin shock.
(on camera): A student can wear up to five electrodes strapped to their arms and their legs. I strapped one here to my arm just to see how powerful the shock is. It's delivered with a remote control.
Oh! Oh, man! That hurts. That hurts.
(voice-over): What long-term harm or good prolonged treatment would have on a mentally handicapped teenager like Antwone is anyone's guess. His mother has ordered the treatment stopped. Randi Kaye, CNN, Canton, Massachusetts.
COLLINS: Coming up, we're going to change the focus from fighting childhood violence to fighting childhood allergies. Could a little bit of dirt be the answer? And is there any such thing as a healthy dose of germs?
COLLINS: "LARRY KING LIVE" coming up in just a few minutes. Who will you be talking with tonight?
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Heidi, Heidi, Heidi, Heidi.
COLLINS: Hi, Larry.
KING: I like saying the name.
KING: We'll have a major panel discussion on the Duke lacrosse situation. The prosecutor continues to say that this investigation is open and he's not dropping charges despite the fact that no DNA related to the players has been found.
And then, we'll spend a half hour with Dave Holloway, Natalee Holloway's father. He's written a new book and he's brought along some exclusive pictures never before seen of his still missing daughter. All of that at 9:00, immediately following the lovely and talented Heidi Collins.
COLLINS: I'm so glad I'm paying you enough to say those things. We'll be watching at 9:00.
Could exposure to germs be good for a child? Coming up, a tale of two moms and two daughters. Which one's home is more like yours.
Number three on our CNN.com countdown. The Israeli cabinet today declared Ariel Sharon as permanently incapacitated, formally removing him as prime minister. Sharon suffered a massive stroke in January and has been in a coma since then.
Number two on our countdown just minutes away.
COLLINS: Remember Pigpen from the "Peanuts" comic strip? He's the kid who was always surrounded by a big cloud of dust and dirt. Well more and more doctors are thinking that a little dirt may actually be a good thing for kids and help them grow up healthier. Just take a look at this report from medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen in tonight's "Vital Signs."
MICHELLE SUKENIK, MOTHER: Come on, let's go over to the children's department.
COHEN (voice-over): We know what a lot of you are thinking right now. What kind of mother lets her baby crawl around in a department store? Chew on a stick? Eat food off the floor and put a ball in her mouth that had just been in the dog's mouth?
(on camera): And then when you're done with this, do you disinfect her and wipe her off?
MICHELLE SUKENIK: Nope. COHEN (voice-over): Wait, it gets even better.
MICHELLE SUKENIK: Want some puffs?
COHEN: Fourteen-month-old Madison Sukenik eats right off the carpet of a doctor's office where hundreds of sick children have been. And that doctor behind her, that's her father. And believe it or not, Mark Sukenik's fine with all this. In fact, it's his idea.
(on camera): So what did you say when he would come home in his scrubs and pick up the baby?
MICHELLE SUKENIK: I was mortified and I would be asking him to take a shower twice and change and, yes, I was pretty neurotic.
COHEN: And you thought she was crazy?
MARK SUKENIK, FATHER: Yes.
COHEN: What did you tell her?
MARK SUKENIK: That she's going to be exposed to things, that she's a baby, that she'd be fine.
COHEN (voice-over): And as a matter of fact, Madison has been fine. She didn't have a single illness her entire first year of life. And now immunologists are coming around to Dr. Mark Sukenik's thinking. Many believe that exposure to germs early on might actually be good for a child. Help them have fewer allergies, less asthma. This sounds like heresy at a time when so many moms disinfect and bleach everything in sight and when everyone seems to be using antibacterial products.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When their world is cleaner, their lives are healthier.
COHEN: But it is possible to be too clean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the matter? What is wrong?
COHEN: Dr. Dennis Ownby, professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia, researches what's called the hygiene hypothesis, the theory that too much cleanliness might be one of the reasons so many children have allergies. The numbers have skyrocketed in recent years.
(on camera): Intuition would tell you the cleaner the better.
DR. DENNIS OWNBY, MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA: Right.
COHEN: But it sounds like that's not always true.
OWNBY: Well, at least in terms of allergic disease, it doesn't seem to be true.
COHEN (voice-over): Dr. Ownby's own study of more than 400 children found that having pets is actually good for kids.
OWNBY: Children exposed to cats and dogs and especially multiple cats and dogs were far less likely to have allergies not only to cats and dogs but also to ragweed and grass and dust mites when they were six to seven years of age.
COHEN: Doctors in England are preparing to take allergy studies a step further. This July they'll start giving babies peanut butter to see if it will keep them from getting potentially deadly peanut allergies later in life.
Researchers have already found that babies in day care, surrounded by lots of other germy babies, have fewer allergies and less wheezing later in life.
But Kara Sherry (ph) isn't convinced. She loves antibacterial products. She says bleach is her best friends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I use it on the floor, I use it on the counter tops. I use it in the bathrooms. Pretty much almost everywhere. Show them how you clean, clean, clean.
COHEN: Kara (ph) bleaches the grout in the kitchen floor, scrubs down cabinets, disinfects doorknob after doorknob. The dog stays in the basement. And if little Carly (ph) puts a toy in her mouth, it goes into the dish washer. So do the family toothbrushes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything get sanitized and I feel good about it.
COHEN: And in public places...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... I've got the wipes, I've got antibacterial spray.
COHEN: Carol wipes down the grocery cart and makes sure Carly (ph) can't touch the cart handle.
(on camera): What grosses you out about what could be on that handle right there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything could be on that handle right there. Someone could have gone to the bathroom and not washed their hands. Somebody could have a cut on their hand and there could be staph, could be E. Coli, could be anything.
COHEN (voice-over): Is all this cleanliness worth it? To Kara (ph) it is.
(on camera): You're doing this out of love for your children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love -- I mean, absolutely, Love and protection. I look at it a way -- another way that I protect my kids.
COHEN (voice-over): And Kara says her way works. Her kids are rarely sick. We showed Dr. Ownby video of Kara (ph) cleaning her house.
OWNBY: I think this is probably more than is really necessary in terms of trying to prevent your family or your children from acquiring infections.
COHEN (on camera): So this is a little over the top for you?
OWNBY: It would be more than I would be willing to do in my kitchen.
COHEN (voice-over): He says basic hygiene is important like handwashing, but much more than that really isn't necessary. And while you don't have to let your baby eat off the floor...
MICHELLE SUKINEK: Come here, you want French toast?
COHEN: A few germs here and there might actually help your child stay healthy. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
COLLINS: At the top of the hour on "LARRY KING LIVE," Natalee Holloway's father Dave Holloway. It's been nearly a year since she disappeared. What does he think really happened?
Time now to reveal No. 2 on our countdown. Bausch & Lomb has stopped shipping its ReNu Moisture Loc contact lens solution to the U.S. after federal health officials linked it to an eye infection that may cause blindness. The CDC says it's looking into more than 100 cases of the infection. Good to know, because that's what I use.
Just ahead, why is J. Lo suing her ex-husband? And which ex is in the doghouse? Find out in a minute, when we check the top story on CNN.com.
COLLINS: And now the top story on our CNN.com countdown, Jennifer Lopez suing her first husband, Ojani Noa. She says he demanded $5 million to keep him from publishing a tell-all book about her and about their marriage. Lopez alleges he violated a confidentiality agreement by giving the manuscript to publishers. No. 1.
That's all for tonight everybody. Thanks for joining us. "LARRY KING LIVE" begins right now.
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