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CNN LIVE AT DAYBREAK

'Talk of CNN'

Aired September 23, 2002 - 05:46   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: We have a couple of new additions to the CNN DAYBREAK team, Marc Ericson and Danielle Carrier, anchors for the WOKQ "Morning Waking Crew" in Portsmouth and Manchester, New Hampshire. And they will be with us every Monday to talk to us about what's going on in their area.
Hello guys.

MARC ERICSON, WOKQ "MORNING WAKING CREW": Good morning, Catherine, how are you?

CALLAWAY: We're -- I'm doing great. Nice to talk to you this morning.

ERICSON: Nice to talk to you as well.

CALLAWAY: You've got a wacky story going on there.

ERICSON: Well you know it's...

CALLAWAY: What's up with Milton Elementary School?

ERICSON: It's one of those things that got a little blown out of proportion somewhere along the line. The principal at Milton Elementary is a woman named Mrs. Drew. Her name is Nancy Drew, so you know...

CALLAWAY: Oh my God, you're kidding me, right?

DANIELLE CARRIER, WOKQ "MORNING WAKING CREW": No.

ERICSON: Honest to goodness. So you know already she's been getting some grief from the get-go since she married Mr. Drew, obviously. But at the beginning of the school year, they decided to institute a silent lunch program at Milton Elementary School and this put the parents in an uproar.

Now where this has gone, and you can even see it on their Web site this morning,...

CALLAWAY: Right.

ERICSON: ... where this has gone is the school has what's called a MicroSociety, and the MicroSociety has its own form of government and everything else. And this has been a learning experience for the kids to go through the petition process and now they're negotiating with school administrators. Starting this morning, according to their Web site, students will talk quietly and remain seated and they will be respectful to all people and they will walk quietly during the lunch period. So they're trying to get the lunch period settled down because they've got about 120 kids. And when you've got 120 elementary school kids in one place you know, Catherine, that's just a nightmare.

CALLAWAY: I've got two at home and they can be a crowd.

You know I just -- I'm a little confused. Now first they weren't allowed to talk at all, right, and then I read -- I read the Web site this morning, the newsletter, so they are allowed to talk just a little bit now.

ERICSON: They...

CALLAWAY: Whisper.

ERICSON: They started with not being allowed to talk at all, and the students got together on their own and started a petition drive.

CALLAWAY: You go kids.

ERICSON: And -- well that's it. And as elementary school kids in this -- quote, unquote -- "MicroSociety" at this school, they are now sitting down and it's become sort of negotiating back and forth process with school administrators, which I don't know if you're a little kid in elementary school, that's got to be scary because my principal always scared the daylights out of me.

CARRIER: You know I think that's absolutely wonderful. Students are actually learning early on how to go about the rules and the laws not only in school but in your state.

CALLAWAY: Well so maybe...

ERICSON: Well now...

CALLAWAY: So maybe you shouldn't be giving Nancy a hard time...

CARRIER: Exactly.

ERICSON: Well...

CALLAWAY: ... because she had this figured out all along.

CARRIER: Absolutely.

ERICSON: I think -- I think she went into this with the best of intentions...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.

ERICSON: ... and it got away from her a little bit. And she wouldn't go on tape with us and she was absolutely gun-shy of phone calls from the media.

CALLAWAY: Oh really?

ERICSON: Yes. Yes, I think she's had a rough time. And you know too that parents as a natural instinct will rush to the defense of their children. And I think she's been taking a lot of grief from a lot of moms and dads.

CALLAWAY: Well you know I used to get in trouble for throwing things in the lunchroom, but not being able to talk.

CARRIER: Actually, my school, I remember actually being like in the fifth or sixth grade and our class got so loud and rambunctious, we were actually told we couldn't talk for an entire week.

CALLAWAY: Well you know what,...

CARRIER: And if you talked, you got like a -- you got a timeout or whatever.

CALLAWAY: Well we all know when a bunch of kids get together it is kind of hard. It just seems to get louder and louder if you don't try to quiet them a little bit.

CARRIER: Absolutely.

ERICSON: Well, and I think the best part of this is that the kids and the principal are working it out on their own and kind of the parents are out of the process.

CALLAWAY: All right, well welcome to CNN DAYBREAK.

ERICSON: Well thank you very much, Catherine.

CALLAWAY: You guys have a great day.

ERICSON: You too.

CALLAWAY: That's Marc Ericson and Danielle Carrier, they're with WOKQ.

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