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Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Remembrance of the Santa Fe High School Tragedy

For Immediate Release

 

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Remembrance of the Santa Fe High School Tragedy

 

May 18, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Today marks one year since the Santa Fe High School shooting that claimed the lives of eight students and two educators, and injured 13 others.

 

In solemn remembrance of this tragedy, Sandy Hook Promise stands with the families of the victims and issued the following statement:

 

“Today my heart is with the families of those who died in the Santa Fe High School tragedy. Our schools should be among the safest places for our kids. When this sense of safety is diminished, it hurts us all. On this day, as a nation, let us stand with families grieving loved ones lost to gun violence and recommit to being vigilant for warning signs of potential violence and saying something when we see these signals in others,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “It is our responsibility to teach our kids how to prevent violence, while we also advocate for sensible policy that ensures their safety.“

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Sandy Hook Promise Commends House Appropriators for Strengthening Investment in Safer Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Commends House Appropriators for Strengthening Investment in Safer Schools

 

May 17, 2019 - Today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) voted within the committee to increase funding for evidence-based school violence prevention under the STOP School Violence Act.

 

Sandy Hook Promise applauds Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX-12), CJS Subcommittee Chairman José Serrano (D-NY-15), CJS Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Aderholt (R-AL-04), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-04), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY-05), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN-5), and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-2) for leading the effort to allocate $125 million for violence prevention programs and threat assessment teams in schools and issued the following statement:

 

“This funding is critical to protecting our children. We know that violence and suicide in our schools are preventable when we teach students and adults to ‘know the signs’ and reach out when they see someone hurting or need help themselves. We applaud the continued bipartisan commitment of Chairman Serrano, Ranking Member Aderholt, and this committee to improve school safety through prevention and early intervention to stop future tragedies before they can happen,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and the father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

 

The FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that passed through Subcommittee today increases the Department of Justice’s STOP School Violence Act funding from $100 million to $125 million for school violence prevention grants to states, local governments, and Tribes for the purposes of training students and school personnel to identify signs of violence and intervene early to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. The funding can also be used to for the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems, and formation of evidence-based school threat assessment and intervention teams to help schools intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes.

 

The STOP School Violence Act was introduced in the House of Representatives before the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to build off of the research and lessons learned from Sandy Hook and other tragic shootings and scale proven, evidence-based early intervention programming to schools across the country to prevent future school shootings, suicides, and other forms of school violence. It was passed as part of the FY2018 omnibus funding bill. Sandy Hook Promise proudly worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 that will train millions more students and adults to “know the signs” of gun violence and how to act to prevent it.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene, and get help for at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris

stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

 

Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving Donates $25,000 to Sandy Hook Promise

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving Donates $25,000 to Sandy Hook Promise Funding will Expand the Know the Signs for Gun Violence Prevention Programs

May 13, 2019 -- Newtown, CT – Through a $25,000 charitable donation to Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a leading gun violence prevention organization, The Wireless Zone® Foundation for Giving gift will support the training of youth and adults in four evidence-based Know the Signs programs that have been proven to decrease violence, bullying, and other forms of victimization while strengthening school communities. This philanthropic partnership will bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs — Start With Hello, Say Something, Signs of Suicide, and Safety Assessment and Intervention — at no cost to hundreds of schools in 2019-2020.

“With the support of Wireless Zone, we will be able to empower even more students to ‘know the signs’ to prevent school shootings, reduce bullying, and create environments of connectedness and inclusion that help minimize the potential for youth violence and self-harm,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

Today, Wireless Zone® presented Sandy Hook Promise with the award check at a ceremony in the Newtown Wireless Zone store, located at 228 South Main Street. Store owner Christopher Severo commented, “Here at the Newtown Wireless Zone store, our goal is to serve the community and families of Newtown in all possible ways. We are honored to show our support for this important cause locally and across the country with Wireless Zone. We will continue to provide great service and a great customer experience at our community Verizon stores.”

“We will never forget what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School that day,” said Brian Murtari, Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving President and Chief Information Officer for Wireless Zone. He added, “We are working with Sandy Hook Promise to bring awareness and educational programs about gun violence and bullying to children, adults, and educators to prevent it from happening in the future. Students and communities around the world can all benefit from this effort. Children should never have to worry about feeling safe, especially at school.”

Other owners in the Wireless Zone® franchise concur. “My heart goes out to any parent who loses a child, especially when education could have prevented it,” said Scott Gladstone, Wireless Zone® Owner and Foundation for Giving Board Member. “We are happy to support the mission of Sandy Hook Promise, educating our children to prevent tragedy.”

To date, SHP has trained over 7.5 million youth and adults in 14,000+ schools and youth organizations in all 50 states. The programs have stopped multiple school shootings, suicides, and gun threats; reduced bullying and cyberbullying; intervened on cutting, substance use, hate crimes, and other forms of violence and self-harm; and helped hundreds of youth get the mental health assistance they need.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise:

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing parents, schools, and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene, and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

 

About Wireless Zone:

Founded in 1988 in Wethersfield, CT as "The Car Phone Store", the Wireless Zone® system has become the nation's largest wireless retail franchisor and was ranked the No. 1 franchise in its category by Entrepreneur magazine. Each store is independently owned and operated, exclusively offering Verizon Wireless products and services. The Wireless Zone® system has been honored with Verizon's "Best Customer Service" award for five consecutive years and is franchised and operated by Wireless Zone LLC. For more information, visit https://www.wirelesszone.com

 

About The Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving:

The Wireless Zone® Foundation for Giving was founded in 2003 after identifying a need and desire to give back to our communities. Today the Foundation raises a substantial amount of money to support a large number of local charities and causes in the communities in which we do business. We have time- honored relationships with Make-A-Wish, Autism Speaks, Children’s Tumor Foundation and St. Jude’s.

Sandy Hook Promise Endorses Ethan’s Law in Connecticut

May 8, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Following the tragic death of Ethan Song in 2018, new legislation Ethan’s Law (H.B. 7218) has been developed to strengthen safe firearm storage requirements in Connecticut by closing state loopholes on criminal liability for unsafe storage of a firearm that results in the death of a minor under age 18.

In response to the passage of this legislation yesterday, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement:

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Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Bipartisan Introduction of the STANDUP Act, Suicide Prevention and Threat Assessment Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Bipartisan Introduction of the STANDUP Act,

Suicide Prevention and Threat Assessment Legislation 

 

May 8, 2019 -- Newtown, CT – Suicide has been the second-leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24 since 2010.  This, coupled with other senseless deaths due to school shootings or other acts of violence in schools, point to serious public health issues. Youth suicide and violence against others is preventable, given that 70 percent of those who die by suicide tell someone of their plans or demonstrate warning signs and 80 percent of school shooters tell someone of their plans prior to acting.  Yet, too many youth and adults are unaware of the warning signs and signals to look for, ways of assessing threats when they present themselves, and how to properly intervene before a tragedy can occur.

 

Sandy Hook Promise praises U.S. Congressmen Scott Peters (D-CA-52) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) for introducing the Suicide and Threat Assessment Nationally Dedicated to Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act of 2019 ensure our nation’s students and schools have suicide and threat assessment training to stop tragedies before they happen. This legislation is also supported by Congressmen Ted Deutch (D-FL-19) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). 

 

“The rates of youth suicide and violence occurring in our country’s schools are appalling. We know that with proper training and threat assessment teams embedded in schools that self-harm, violence, and suicide can be preventable. We are proud to partner with these bipartisan champions to pass this critical legislation to ensure that more youth and adults 'know the signs’ to properly intervene before a tragedy can occur and we urge Congress to pass this bill,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

 

Today’s introduction of the bipartisan STANDUP Act is a crucial step in curbing these suicide rates and making our schools safer, overall. If passed, the bill would encourage select states to expand access to evidence-based suicide prevention training to every student in grades 6 through 12 and train schools in proven school threat assessment models that provide guidelines for threat identification, triage, and intervention, as well as established procedures and protocols for coordinating with local law enforcement.

 

“Gun violence and suicide are public health crises in our country. A whole generation of children are now afraid to go to school and think mass school shootings are the norm. We need only to look at the pictures from Colorado yesterday to understand that we must prioritize early prevention, heed warning signs, and give educators and administrators the tools to stop violence before it happens. This bipartisan bill, with the support of Sandy Hook Promise, takes a commonsense, evidence-based approach to address the root problems our students face that can turn them to violence and suicide,” said Rep. Peters.

 

“There is no higher priority than keeping our children safe.  By providing high quality screening and prevention training to school staff and peers, we can identify threats before they materialize, and ensure that those who are at risk get the mental health treatment they need.  Sadly, some communities in my district are among those with the highest suicide rates in our state. With training like this, we can help reverse that troubling trend,” said Rep. Bilirakis.

 

“Especially among children and young adults, gun violence against others or themselves are at heart-wrenching levels in our country. But this public health crisis is preventable. We know that often the warning signs are there; we just need to be trained to identify them and react appropriately. This bipartisan bill would help teachers and administrators catch those warning signs and intervene before gun violence tragedies occur,” said Rep. Deutch.

 

“One of the keys to preventing school violence is equipping students, teachers, and administrators with the skills they need to properly react to threats before a tragedy can occur,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “By addressing suicidal and violent behavior, the bipartisan STANDUP Act would give school districts the tools needed to protect our nation’s kids through swift and appropriate intervention.”

 

According to a CDC study, more than 17 percent of youth in the U.S. seriously considered attempting suicide and another 14 percent went as far as making a suicide plan between 2016 and 2017. Research has shown that evidence-based suicide prevention programs and school threat assessment teams have been effective in reducing suicide, interpersonal violence, bullying, and aggression, and have lowered expulsion and suspension rates.

 

Three of Sandy Hook Promise’s evidence-informed Know the Signs violence prevention programs -- Say Something, Signs of Suicide, and Safety Assessment and Intervention -- have helped avert multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence. These programs, among others, would meet the STANDUP Act requirements for states.

 

At least 20 states currently have laws in place that mandate some manner of suicide prevention training for students or staff. Evidence-based school threat assessment teams have also been shown to increase the willingness of students to seek help for threats of violence and mental illness, reinforcing the potential effectiveness of pairing these life-saving programs.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene, and get help for at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffing Communications

Stephanie Morris

stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

 

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado

May 8, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- On May 7th, nearly a week following the deadly shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, two students at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a K-12 school approximately seven miles from Columbine High School, opened fire on their peers, killing one and injuring eight others. The victims are all students, 15 years of age and up, and many are listed in critical or serious condition. One 18-year-old male lost his life in the tragedy.

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Sandy Hook Promise to Receive FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award at National Ceremony in Washington D.C.

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise to Receive FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

at National Ceremony in Washington D.C.

 

The organization is being recognized for its proven Know the Signs

gun violence prevention programs

 

Washington, D.C., (May 3, 2019) -- Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will present Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) with the 2019 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) at a national ceremony in Washington, DC. FBI Director, Christopher Wray, will present the prestigious award to Sandy Hook Promise’s Co-Founders and Managing Directors Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden. Nicole’s son, Dylan, and Mark’s son, Daniel, were both killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012.

 

The FBI presents the DCLA to organizations and community leaders who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their communities in the prevention of crime and violence. SHP was chosen for its work in training over 7.5 million youths and adults nationwide in its proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by identifying at-risk behavior and intervening to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost programs, SHP has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

 

“Sandy Hook Promise is honored to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award,” says Nicole Hockley. “The Know the Signs programs have proven to be effective in preventing heartbreaking tragedies from gun violence. Thanks to brave students who have taken action and said something to a trusted adult or reported tips anonymously through our Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, many tragedies have been averted and lives have been saved.”

 

Sandy Hook Promise was nominated for this award by the FBI’s New Haven field office, one of 56 field offices across the country. The award was also presented to the organization in early April at a local ceremony by Special Agents Brian Turner and Robert Fuller.

 

“The impact of Sandy Hook Promise continues to grow, and this award is proof of that,” Mark Barden says. “At a time when gun violence is so prevalent, we know that educational programs such as our Know the Signs programs are essential in preventing these horrific acts from ever occurring.”

 

About the Director’s Community Leadership Award: The Director’s Community Leadership Award was formally created in 1990 to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, and violence in America. Recipients of this award are nominated by each of the FBI’s 56 field offices and are recognized for their service above and beyond the call of duty to help keep America safe.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing parents, schools, and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

 

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Press Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris

Stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Shooting at the

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

 

May 1, 2019 -- Newtown, CT – On Tuesday, April 30th, two University of North Carolina at Charlotte students, Ellis Parlier, 19, and Riley Howell, 21, were killed and four others were wounded, Drew Pescaro, 19; Sean Dehart, 20; Emily Houpt, 23; and Rami Alramadhan, 20, when a former student opened fired on the campus during the last day of classes.

 

In response to this tragedy, Sandy Hook Promise issue the following statement:

 

“In the days following the tragic shooting at The Chabad of Poway Synagogue, we see yet another place that should be a safe haven become a scene of violence. My heart goes out to those who are affected by these shootings, as I know all too well that their community will never be the same,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and the mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting. “We should expect all public places, especially schools and places of worship, to be safe. On the last day of classes, these students were preparing not only for final exams and summer break, but for what was still to come, lives full of so much potential. While no explicit warning signs have been reported at this time, we must all learn to recognize the signs and signals of someone in crisis and say something when we see them. It is our duty to look after one another and our community.”

 

To date, more than 6.5 million people nationwide have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) BEFORE it can happen by educating and mobilizing parents, schools, and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene, and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

 

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Media Contact: Dini von Mueffling Communications

Stephanie Morris | stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005