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CNN NEWSROOM

Trying to Defuse School Violence; Woman Struggles to Enroll in Obamacare; Interview with Rep. Joe Barton

Aired October 25, 2013 - 10:30   ET

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


ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, again, in laymen's terms basically what we're understanding in interpreting this to mean is that the grand jury did believe that John and Patsy Ramsey had some kind of involvement in their daughter's death; that they should be held responsible for that involvement. But it does not clarify or necessarily pin the murder on them specifically.

(CROSSTALK)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: But it makes you wonder -- it makes you wonder, I'm sorry Ana. It makes you wonder who that person is. Who is that person they're referring to?

CABRERA: Well and again that -- well, that's the big question. That's -- that's the murder mystery that continues to hold true today Carol. They have DNA of the person they believe committed the murder. The DNA that was found on JonBenet's clothing, on several items of her clothing, that they know belongs to a male. And it's somebody who is unrelated to the family.

And so as a result of that DNA evidence, the district attorney several years after this grand jury indictment happened, the district attorney at that time Mary Lacy she cleared the family from any involvement in the murder. And she even sent a letter to John Ramsey at that time apologizing for the cloud of suspicion that the family had been under for you know well over a decade after their daughter was murdered and said that from that point moving forward, after the DNA testing technology had come into -- into -- come to be and cleared the family, that the family would then be considered victims in this case and would be treated as victims not as people or persons of suspicion.

COSTELLO: Yes Ana Cabrera really interesting. So the documents are on CNN.com? Is that what you were going to say when I interrupted you? Yes -- you want to read them? Tough day.

CABRERA: That's what I was going to say. That you know we're working to get those on CNN.com. Again four pages two for an involvement of John Ramsey to involving Patsy Ramsey and for anybody who wants to take a look at specifically what they say, they can go online.

But again, I think the main point here is that these documented likely aren't going to change anything moving forward in the investigation and it still remains a mystery who actually killed JonBenet Ramsey. And again we have the DNA, but there's been no match to that DNA up until this point. COSTELLO: Right Ana Cabrera reporting live from Boulder, Colorado this morning thanks so much.

We've got to take a break. We'll back with much more on the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: This morning, the search for a way to heal at Sandy Hook Elementary continues. Demolition crews will begin destroying the Connecticut grade school where a gunman killed 26 people. Last year's massacre added new urgency to the debate over gun violence and school safety.

Also this morning students are returning to class at Danvers High School. A teacher was killed at the Boston area school earlier this week a 14-year-old student is now charged in her murder.

And just two days before that another deadly explosion of violence this time at a middle school in Sparks, Nevada. Police say a 12-year- old student shot three people killing a teacher and then killing himself.

So we want to take a couple of minutes now to discuss school violence and the search for answers. Douglas Fuchs is the police chief in Redding, Connecticut and some of his officers rushed to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and now share lessons learned. And Colonel Michael Edmonson is with the Louisiana State Police.

This week both men focused on school violence at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference. Welcome to you both.

COL. MICHAEL EDMONSON, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE: Good morning.

CHIEF DOUGLAS FUCHS, REDDING, CONNECTICUT POLICE: Good morning.

COSTELLO: Good morning. First of all, I just want to gauge how afraid parents should be for their kids in school because it seems that we're experiencing a lot of these shootings across the country. So I'll pose that question to you, Chief Fuchs.

FUCHS: I have to say that I'm not sure that "scared" is the right word. I can say "bewildered" is probably better. Many folks in Newtown where I live were bewildered that these senseless acts of violence continue to take place in our society.

And you know as I was dropping my daughter off to school this morning she knew I was coming to this interview and she asked me why. And I said it's important to get the message out. It's important to talk about this so hopefully we can prevent this from happening in the future. And she again asked me why, and she said, "Dad, you can talk all you want, they're never going to change."

COSTELLO: How old is your daughter?

FUCHS: 16.

COSTELLO: See that makes me really sad.

Colonel Edmonson, is there an answer, I know police chiefs from across the world got together. So this problem isn't just the United States problem I assume.

EDMONSON: No it's not and we talked about that with the National Association of Chiefs of Police. Also my governor here in Louisiana, Governor Jindal we're constantly talking about public safety. But you know when you look at our schools across the nation, I believe they are safe. And what we've got to sit there and think about is not just trying to predict when things are going to happen, but we've got to prevent those things from happening.

That's threat assessments, that's working in partnership with your local police agencies. That's understanding where when you go to a school where the programs are and where the classrooms are and knowing how to get there and knowing how to get there very quickly.

Active shooter training, education but it's also about talking to our kids. I mean they're going to tell us when things are going wrong, when things are going to happen. You've got to have that -- that conversation with the students, the teachers have to be engaged. The faculty has to be engaged. To be able to understand when a child sees something, they've got to feel comfortable in saying something.

So think that's what's you got to look at.

COSTELLO: But one of the interesting things that came out of this conference and I guess I'll address this to you Chief Fuchs is that we have to start teaching children not to run and hide, but to run and fight. The question I have is, how do you teach a 6-year-old that?

FUCHS: And you're exactly right. We've really changed the way we've looked at school safety. It's prevention which goes back to making sure people secure their weapons in their homes. Because if they didn't have access to those weapons, they wouldn't be brought to school. It's deterrence. And we know that law enforcement presence makes a difference. And especially in our part of the world you've seen a lot of school districts put school-based officers, or SROs (ph), in and around the schools because we know that our presence changes people's behavior.

Over 50 percent of the time when law enforcement respond to an active shooter, that shooter takes their own life before they challenge is. And a vast majority of the rest of the time, we're able to neutralize that threat or take them into custody beforehand. And as you talked about training we used to train people to lock themselves down and hide. And that's just not working unfortunately. We are now training to run, to hide and to fight. And if you can run, you run as fast and you run as far as you possibly can.

In the morning of December 14th I picked up four teachers on the way to Sandy Hook school. They did just that, they ran until they found safety. They didn't have kids in their classroom they were in the back of the school and they ran and that works. If that doesn't work, then you lock down and you hide. And we're teaching our educators how to better fortify their classrooms so that it's tougher to get in. Better compartmentalization within the school.

But when all else fails, we're also now teaching them to fight. And I have to tell you, I don't like that. I know the educators really don't like that. But we just don't have any other choice.

COSTELLO: So -- so Colonel when - when Chief Fuchs says fight, what does that mean? Does that mean throwing something at the gunman? I mean what does that mean?

EDMONSON: I think it's doing everything you can to get the attention away from that gunman. But you've got to have constant conversation not only with the police, but also with the kids. And I think that's where the -- the education has got to be ongoing. It can't be, well we've done enough now and let's just stop that. It's got to be a continual basis. And that communication is so important we're doing it constantly as police officers, continually doing those threat assessments, as trying to look at ways we can prevent things from happening because it's about that pro-active approach.

And you're right about that 6-year-old. I mean I've got four kids and to have that constant communication to where you've got to be engaged with them so they can feel comfortable. But we also have to find that that happy medium. Because when a parent puts a kid off at a school bus, they ought to feel safe. When that child is going to a school, that parent ought to say, you know what, I feel comfortable that my child is going to be safe in that school.

So you've got to find that happy medium where you -- where you certainly educate the parent but educating those kids and have that communication where they -- where they talk to those teacher and they say, hey, what do I do in a situation like this? And putting in on their level so they understand what they need to do.

And from a police perspective, educating the police to make sure they get somewhere very quickly, very pro-active. They were looking at prevention of things from happening and also those threat assessments. That's got to be something that we continually talk about within the IACC but also with police officers across this country and across this world.

COSTELLO: Well Colonel Michael Edmonson and Chief Douglas Fuchs thank you so much for sharing this information. It's very helpful thank you so much.

EDMONSON: Thank you.

FUCHS: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM we spoke to her on week one of the Obamacare website launch. And after delays and numerous phone calls, she still has not been able to enroll in a health insurance plan. We'll find out what Terry O'Neal is going to do now. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: It's not just healthcare.gov that's become a technical fiasco. Some of the state-run exchanges are also plagued with problems. Our next guest has been trying to sign up on California's insurance marketplace since day one. That would be October 1.

Terry O'Neal says she still doesn't have health insurance. She's 40, a freelance writer, married, has three kids and also has a pre- existing condition. She says she needs health insurance now.

Terry joins us again, live from Sacramento, California. Good morning -- Terry.

TERRY O'NEAL, TRYING TO SIGN UP FOR HEALTH INSURANCE: Good morning.

COSTELLO: OK. What's the latest?

O'NEAL: Well, it's pretty much the same. I'm still waiting to be enrolled. My application -- I'm still waiting on my application to be processed.

COSTELLO: So you've actually applied, right? That's a first step, right?

O'NEAL: Yes. I did apply by phone on the first day. So that was great. Due to the glitches and the problems they had on the first day, they have, I guess, been backlogged, I'll assume, because they're still inputting applicants in the system still today from back then. So I'm still -- still waiting.

COSTELLO: How long -- I mean did you expect it would be this difficult?

O'NEAL: No, I didn't. But, you know, you never really know. And I -- it doesn't begin until January, so I'm hoping by then I'll be in the system. I'll be enrolled and I will have health insurance by then.

COSTELLO: OK. So --

O'NEAL: That's what I'm hoping for.

COSTELLO: We're keeping our fingers crossed, Terry. Thank you for checking in with us. We appreciate it.

O'NEAL: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Well, despite these ongoing technical problems, Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius is busy on her pro Obamacare tour. She's pitching it across the country and right now we're waiting to hear from her in Austin, Texas -- a state that has fought Obamacare and has one of the largest population of uninsured people in the country. She's also been fighting back on calls for her resignation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: The majority of people calling for me to resign, I would say, are people who I don't work for. And who do not want this program to work in the first place. My role is to get the program up and running. And we will do just that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Next week, Sebelius will testify before a congressional committee investigating problems with healthcare.gov. Joining us now to talk about all of this is Republican congressman Joe Barton from Texas. Good morning, Congressman.

REP. JOE BARTON (R), TEXAS: Good morning.

COSTELLO: OK. So Kathleen Sebelius is going across the country trying to get people to sign up. Should she be?

BARTON: Well, that's her right as the secretary of Health and Human Services. I'm not sure who she works for. I thought she and I worked for the same people -- the American people: in her case, all the people since she's a federal cabinet secretary and in my case, the people of the sixth district of Texas. But apparently she thinks she's above reporting and working for the people.

COSTELLO: Well, she is going to testify on Wednesday, and I'm sure you're looking forward to that.

BARTON: I am looking forward to that. I -- I'm going to ask her about this -- you know, they're talking about these so-called glitches. But my question yesterday was about the total lack of privacy apparently intentionally deceiving Americans that, you know, that the public disclaimer is kind of a boilerplate. But in the code that you don't see, you waive any reasonable right to the expectation of privacy of your personal information. I think that's quite wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

COSTELLO: Well, let me ask you about that because I've been wondering about that. The only health-oriented question the website asks of you is whether you smoke. It doesn't ask any other -- so what specifically are you talking about? What specific information would you share on this website that you -- that you wouldn't normally share?

BARTON: Well, it asks -- it asks if you have health insurance and if so the policy number and the name of the company. It asks if you have any mental, physical, or emotional condition that would preclude any activity. It asks if you're a woman if you're pregnant. And it combines that with your social security number, where you work, where you live. And the hidden code, it also says the government has the right to use that information in what they consider to be any lawful manner. So I think that is a violation of HIPAA. But that's a -- you know, that's a legal question.

(CROSSTALK)

COSTELLO: From what we understand, though, the only medical question they ask you is whether you smoke. And I understand your concern about hacking.

BARTON: Well, they ask those other questions too.

COSTELLO: The social security number, I mean the government already has that, doesn't it? The IRS, they have lots of information on all of us.

BARTON: Well, but you're -- technically, they're trying to get 40 million people to sign up for this and create this huge database. And if they can share that information and combine it with all this other information, to me that's pretty scary and they're hiding the fact that you're waiving any right to personally protect that.

COSTELLO: OK. I've got to wrap --

BARTON: I think that's wrong.

COSTELLO: I've got to wrap it here. We look forward to the testimony on Wednesday and your questions as well.

BARTON: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Congressman Barton, thank you so much for joining me.

BARTON: Not a problem.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the "Rivalry Express" has rolled into Columbus, Ohio for a Big 10 Throw Down. Carlos Diaz is there.

CARLOS DIAZ, CNN SPORTS: Yes, it's tough to hear you because we're here with the Ohio State fans getting ready for the big rivalry this weekend. Penn State taking on Ohio State -- we've got the details coming up next right here on CNN.

Back to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: The Rivalry Express Bus is in Columbus, Ohio for tomorrow's Big 10 battle between Penn State and the Ohio State University. Carlos Diaz -- my old stomping ground. I love the Ohio State University.

DIAZ: That's why you say it correctly, Carol. It's the Ohio State University. They're getting ready for the big game. It's not the biggest rivalry for the Buckeyes -- that would be Michigan. But it's a big time game this weekend between Penn State and Ohio State with here guys.

And one of the things they're doing at the Horseshoe this weekend, they're going to be pinking out the horseshoe. Pink out Ohio State. Buckeyes go pink -- why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For breast cancer awareness month.

DIAZ: It's a great thing that they have going on here. 105,000 fans -- hopefully all of them wearing pink as they're doing a lot in the stadiums across the country here in October.

And of course, there are other big stories in sports, including the World Series, where the Cardinals tied up the World Series at a game apiece last night in Boston.

Let's roll the highlights at Fenway Park. As you can see, it was another night for Michael Wacha. Rookie pitcher Michael Wacha took the mound for St. Louis last night. He's undefeated this whole season. His only mistake last night was a two-run homer he gave up to David Ortiz in the sixth inning. That put Boston up 2-1. The Cardinals committed two errors on one play later in the seventh. That gave the Cardinals the lead. And they went on to win 4-2. The series now shifts to St. Louis for game three tomorrow night. Bad airs on the Red Sox' part.

Now two quarterbacks who are expected to be future stars in the NFL will meet in the Pack-12 as they battle out west when UCLA takes on undefeated Oregon. The ducks high flying attack is led by one of the leading Heisman trophy candidates Marcus Mariota who's yet to throw an interception this season. UCLA's Brett Hundley will try to bounce back after losing their first game of the season last week at Stanford. Oregon has won the last four meetings between these two schools.

And down south, legendary head coach Bobby Bowden is returning to Florida State tomorrow. He's doing it in style. More than 400 former players are expected to be on hand. When he plants that famous spear at midfield before the game -- you might remember, Bowden did the same thing before he left as head coach of the Seminoles since a tumultuous end to his 35 year coaching career at the school. Bowden has not attended a single home game. Florida Seminole will try to remain undefeated and in the national championship hunt when they take on NC State.

But these fans here in Ohio think the Buckeyes have a legitimate claim to the national championship as well. They're ranked fourth in the nation right now. They think they should be ranked third. They got a problem with four to say at least (inaudible) last week. But we won't bring that up right here. OK, back to you -- Carol.

COSTELLO: No, pleas don't. It could be dangerous.

Bye, everyone, it was fun. Thank you so much and thank all of you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.

"LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield after a break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)