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Can you spot the warning signs of potential violence?

High school students walking the halls

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Gun violence is preventable when you know the signs. Students, teachers, and staff play a vital role in school safety. When you act as an Upstander and know how to identify the potential warning signs of gun violence and get help, you can save lives. But threats can be missed if you don’t know what to look for – when someone may be at risk of hurting themselves or other.

Watch Sandy Hook Promise’s award-winning Public Service Announcement (PSA), “Evan,” which follows a student who begins a new relationship. Can you spot the signs?

After “Evan”: What to Ask Yourself

This powerful gun violence prevention PSA elicits deeper thinking and conversation. Think about the following as you reflect on and react to “Evan”:

  • What are two things that came to your mind as you watched the “Evan” PSA? 
  • Why do you think most people miss the signs the active shooter was giving throughout the video? 
  • Play “Evan” again. How was your experience the second time compared to the first time you watched the video? 
  • If you see some of these warning signs at your school, what will you do? What decisions are you going to have to make?

Teaching the PSA: Evan Experience

Sandy Hook Promise’s no-cost Say Something program teaches K-12 students to recognize the warning signs of someone at-risk of hurting themselves or others. Then, to know to act immediately, and “say something” to prompt intervention.

One of Say Something‘s most popular curriculum offerings for students in middle and high school is teaching the Say Something message through the “Evan” PSA. Students build essential social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies and apply the three steps of Say Something. This includes identifying the warning signs in the “Evan” video.

Through CASEL standard alignments such as social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making, students uncover the hidden messages and lessons found in Evan with small group activities, and multiple discussion prompts.