FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dini von Mueffing Communications
Sandy Hook Promise Releases Statement Regarding School Shooting
at Freeman High School in Rockford, WA
September 13, 2017 – With the school year just starting, we are heartbroken to learn about the mass school shooting at Freeman High School in Rockford, WA. Our hearts and thoughts are with the Rockford community, as we know all too well the anguish that this community feels today and the days to come.
What should be an exciting time for eager students, took an unfortunate turn after a student opened fire in the hallway at Freeman High School killing one and injuring three. Students should be able to go to school and expect a safe learning environment.
We know that these atrocities can make one feel helpless and like all hope is lost. It is not. We must take this time to come together to take real action to keep our children safe.
Join us to help prevent another mass shooting. Make the Promise, talk to your legislators, get your community involved, and encourage kindness and inclusion.
We wrap Rockford in our love right now, but our collective actions are needed from every community across America.
About Sandy Hook Promise
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, SHP’s sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child. SHP delivers, at no cost, four Know the Signs programs that teach youth and adults to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late. SHP’s Know the Signs programs have helped stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance. Additionally, SHP advocates for sensible state and federal violence prevention policy in the areas of mental health and wellness identification, intervention and treatment as well as firearm access and storage. To bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs to your school or community or help advocate for sensible policy, visit sandyhookpromise.org.
Sandy Hook Promise Partners With EVERFI on New Digital Learning Initiative to Reduce Violence and Bullying in Schools
Newtown, CT (September 12, 2017) – Sandy Hook Promise today announced a partnership with EVERFI, the nation’s leading education technology company backed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, and TPG Growth’s social impact fund, to develop a new digital education initiative focused on helping students recognize signs of potential violent threats and take appropriate action immediately. Sandy Hook Promise is the national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. The digital program will be available at no cost to thousands of schools in the fall of the 2017-2018 school year.
Non-fatal and fatal violence at schools has been on the rise since the early 2000s. The RAND Corporation has reported that 20-30 percent of American students (i.e. over 10 million students) repeatedly either engage in, or are the victims of bullying tactics such as physical aggression, verbal harassment, public humiliation, cyber bullying and/or rumor mongering. All of these factors contribute to self-harm, suicide or harm to others, and cultivate a climate of fear.
“To change these disturbing statistics, it is critical that we build an inclusive culture that encourages “upstanders”, not bystanders.” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of 6-year old Dylan Hockley who was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. “School administrators at schools across the country have reported that after implementing our Know the Signs programs students have created a more inclusive community that looks after one another, and who don’t hesitate to speak up when something is amiss.”
The interactive digital learning program will be implemented directly in schools as part of Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something initiative, which teaches children and teens how to recognize the signs of someone exhibiting at-risk behaviors and “say something” to a trusted adult to get them help. The Say Something digital experience highlights and reinforces key objectives from Sandy Hook Promise’s in-person trainings. “This new digital learning initiative will allow students to navigate multiple virtual scenarios, evaluate warning signs and threats, and reflect on their decisions. We are excited to be partnering with EVERFI on this important work,” said Hockley.
“We are incredibly proud to partner with Sandy Hook Promise to provide a scalable digital learning program to empower young people to both recognize the signs of need and take action,” said EVERFI Chief Operating Officer Tammy Wincup. “These issues affect our children in every community across the country. There is more we can do.”
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. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.
About EVERFI, Inc.
EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model and has certified over 16 million learners in critical skill areas. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, The Rise Fund, Advance Publications, and Rethink Education, and Rethink Impact. The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 4,200 partners in their education initiatives across all 50 states and Canada. Learn more at EVERFI.com
EVERFI - Senior Director of Corporate Communications
We need to talk about suicide in ways that help, not harm. We need to make sure young people have no access to guns. And we need to make sure they are connected enough to each other, to family, and to the health care system so that those at risk can be recognized and given the care they need. The rising toll shows we should not ignore this problem, or pretend that it’s just too hard.
Read more at the New York Times
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dini von Mueffling Communications
“A Night Honoring Promise Champions”
Sandy Hook Promise Hosted its 3rd Annual Champions Gala in Washington D.C.
Elected Officials From Across the Aisle United To Support The Gun Violence Prevention Organization In The Shadow Of Recent Tragedies
Newtown, CT - Wednesday June 14th, was an emotional day on Capitol Hill following the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and several others, but members of Congress from the across the aisle showed a groundswell of support at Sandy Hook Promise’s 3rd annual Promise Champions Gala event at the Mellon Auditorium.
The event was hosted by Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, co-Founders and Managing Directors at Sandy Hook Promise (SHP). Hockley’s son Dylan and Mark’s son Daniel were among the 20 first graders and 6 educators killed at the Sandy Hook School tragedy on December 14, 2012.
The event honored men and women from across the country for their work in gun violence prevention and mental health support, including Promise Champions U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) who were honored for their consistent support of common sense efforts to address gun violence.
In 2016, Senator Collins committed to finding common ground with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals and those with severe mental illness. She introduced bipartisan legislation in 2016 to prevent people on the No Fly List of Selectee List from purchasing firearms, and supported the Manchin-Toomey Background Check Bill in 2013 and 2015.
Senator Manchin co-authored the Manchin-Toomey Background Check Bill in 2013 and 2015, working closely with Sandy Hook Promise and listening to the voices of his constituents and the nation. Senator Manchin continues to advocate for commonsense, bipartisan solutions, working with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to prevent gun violence and keep constituents safe.
The honorary co-chairs for the evening U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), spoke passionately about their personal connections with the cause, and their shared goal of reducing violence across the United States. Honorary co-chair U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democratic Leader (D-NY) was also acknowledged for his ongoing support, but was unable to attend in person.
SHP’s mission galvanized support from over 50 members of Congress who served on the honorary co-chair committee for this event. They were joined at the gala by esteemed business and philanthropic leaders, and Promise Leaders from across the nation who are creating change within their communities.
Following the horrific shooting of Scalise and others who were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, and the San Francisco UPS employee shootings earlier in the day, SHP co-founder Nicole Hockley said “Every time I hear about another act of gun violence, the pain of the day I lost my son comes rushing back. Losing a loved one like this is not something you ever get over. But what we want is to prevent others from ever having to feel our pain. That’s how we honor Dylan and Daniel and all the lives lost to gun violence … by creating meaningful, sustainable cultural change, while working to save lives every day. Sadly, incidents of gun violence in our country are still shockingly high. It pains me to say this, but since Sandy Hook, more than 10,000 children under the age of 19 have died as a result of gun violence. That’s 10,000 other families who live with the same pain we do every day.”
Despite the somber tone, Sandy Hook Promise celebrated the great strides it has made in the gun violence prevention and mental health and wellness space to date. In less than three years, SHP has trained nearly 2 million youth and adults in over 3700 schools, across all 50 states with their Know The Signs violence prevention programs on mental health and wellness, identification of at-risk behaviors and how to take action and get help before a situation escalates.
Through their initiatives, SHP has stopped multiple school shootings, suicides and other acts of violence, as well as reduced incidences of bullying, threats and weapons being brought into school and helped many young people get the mental health services support they need. However, there is still much work to be done. Over a half million acts of gun violence occur annually in the U.S. Every day, 314 people are shot, and of those 41 are children under the age of 18.
The event included an opportunity to celebrate and honor many of SHP’s partnerships with some of the country’s largest school districts, and the generation of young minds they have been training. Students and school administrators from the Miami Dade County Public Schools in Miami, FL; Burnet Middle School in Burnet, TX; Dutchtown High School in Hampton, GA; and Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley, CA attended the event. The Voices of Promise honorees school administrator Sara Te (Burnet, TX), and students Arlette De La Rosa (Miami, FL) and Micaylah Clark (Dutchtown, GA) each gave heartfelt speeches about the impact that SHP’s programs have had in their schools in reducing bullying, promoting social inclusion, and building awareness of ways to identify, act and prevent potential acts of violence.
The event was supported The Association for Accessible Medicines as Presenting Sponsor, and President & CEO Chip Davis was personally thanked for his longstanding partnership with SHP. The event’s Pillar Sponsors, included Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Centene Corporation, Comcast Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, Pepsico, PhRMA, S&P Global and The Lawrence and Elva O’Brien Family Foundation.
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. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.
Watch how one small action taken by a Promise Leader led to SHP partnering with the entire Los Angeles Unified School District.
Chairman, NBC News
June 13, 2017
Dear Mr. Lack,
As a co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and as mother of six-year-old Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, I respectfully ask you not to broadcast Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones.
That Jones could posit that what happened in Newtown was a hoax is beyond reprehensible; it is indefensible. It dishonors the lives of the 20 children and 6 adults who died on Dec. 14, 2012. The exposure that Jones will receive as a result of the broadcast will enrich him further and invigorate him and his supporters.
There is undeniable evidence that whenever conspiracy theorists are given a platform or voice, it bolsters them.
Sadly, since shortly after the shooting, a growing group of hoaxers has made it their mission to harass families in Sandy Hook. They claim that the shooting never happened, that no one died, that some of us are just crisis actors, paid to play a role for political or policy reasons. It goes without saying that many of these hoaxers stay hidden behind their anonymous avatars, with cowardly attacks mainly on social media. But some, like Jones, come forward. Some of them do become dangerous, and it is not uncommon to receive ongoing acts of harassment, hate mail and death threats as they feed off one another. This is best seen in the DC pizza shooting threat which was driven by Jones. To have to deal with this, on top of having lost a child, is both disgusting and unbearable.
We respect the thought and approach, however, you missed the larger impact in that giving Jones a platform and national forum, the real impact will be on families.
Listening to Jones' comments in the last 24 hours, it is obvious he is basking in the platform he has already been given due to the outcry and is baiting you to air the show. Please - don't make this about him. Make this about the people he and his followers harm.
I urge you not to broadcast Alex Jones’ interview.
Nicole Hockley (Dylan’s Mom)
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) will be providing Screening for Mental Health Inc.'s (SMH) SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (SOS Program) to schools nationwide as part of its Know The Signs violence prevention programs. SHP presenters will train school staff, faculty, parents, and students about the risk factors and warning signs for youth suicide and how to stop violence and self-harm BEFORE it happens.