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Sandy Hook Promise Commends Bipartisan Introduction of Background Checks Legislation in Congress, Urges Swift Passage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sandy Hook Promise Commends Bipartisan Introduction of Background Checks Legislation in Congress, Urges Swift Passage 

Newtown, CT – January 8, 2019 – Today, bipartisan legislation was introduced that would expand the background check requirement for gun sales to nearly all sales occurring in the U.S., including so-called “private sales” that occur at gun shows and over the internet. Current loopholes in our nation’s laws allow 25% of all guns to be bought without a background check. Background checks have been proven to save lives and have been shown to reduce levels of gun violence in states that have expanded background checks to all sales. 

Sandy Hook Promise praises U.S. Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY), along with 8 other Republican and Democratic Representatives, for introducing H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with 39 other Senators, for introducing the Background Check Expansion Act.  

In response, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement: 

“Since the shooting that killed my sweet little Daniel and took 25 more precious lives, Sandy Hook Promise has been working with Republicans and Democrats to pass meaningful laws to prevent gun violence and has made the strengthening of our background checks system a top priority,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.  “While our country may be divided on many issues, we all want to feel safe. The vast majority of us agree that, if you are flagged in a background check, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. Today, we call on Congress to come together and honor their promise to protect our children by passing this lifesaving legislation once and for all.” 

Sandy Hook Promise has been a leader in the call for Congressional action on background checks and bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation since its founding in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012 and has helped pass over a dozen bipartisan laws at the state level to strengthen background checks and create Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Sandy Hook Promise also proudly led the work to pass the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act of 2018 (H.R. 4909/S. 2495) that will train millions of students and adults to Know the Signs of gun violence and how to act to prevent it.  

More than 5.5 million people 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 signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several 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. SHP is 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 they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  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 Mueffling Communications  

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

 

 

SHP Statement on MSD High School Public Safety Commission Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sandy Hook Promise Statement on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission Report

 

Newtown, CT – January 8, 2019 – The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission recently released its initial report on and recommendations for K-12 school safety in Florida including prevention, active shooter, and post-event response strategies.

In response to this report, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading school violence prevention organization issued the following statement:

“The Commission has taken a first and important step of investigating and assessing what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

“We agree with the recommendation that effective school safety begins with prevention, understanding that gun violence is preventable when we train our students, educators, and community members to know the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors and act to get help. We also agree that equipping our schools with anonymous reporting systems and proactive threat assessment teams that can triage and intervene earlier to stop a crisis before it happens, will further promote the safety of our children and schools.” he continued.

“Because Senate Bill 7026 has many sound provisions that have not yet been fully implemented, we are concerned by any proposal to expand who can carry firearms on school grounds and around students. The focus should remain on more proactive programming and on providing students with needed services and supports to prevent violence.” To date, more than 5.5 million people 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 signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several 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. SHP is 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 they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. 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 Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

The Walt Disney Company Helps Support Expansion of Sandy Hook Promise’s Successful Start With Hello Program to Reach More Elementary Students

Today, Sandy Hook Promise is proud to announce The Walt Disney Company as a new supporter of its Start With Hello program for elementary schools, which promotes inclusion and prevents social isolation. Through this collaboration, Sandy Hook Promise will be able to significantly expand the reach of this celebrated program. The Walt Disney Company will be directly contributing to the development of a new Start With Hello curriculum and digital platform for grades K-5. Implementation of training will now be provided to 2.8 million youth and adults from 6,000 schools and youth organizations in the first three years.

 

“We are thrilled to be working with The Walt Disney Company to bring our Start With Hello programs to the youngest students across the country. We’ve had tremendous demand for Start With Hello training for elementary schools, and because of this donation, we are able to bring this new training to life. Elementary schools are the perfect setting for this training, which focuses on inclusion and looking out for one another. We believe that the earlier we can tackle social isolation and create connectivity among students, the more we will empower students to be upstanders in the future,” said Nicole Hockley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

 

Disney’s commitment to making lasting, positive change in communities and promoting the happiness and well-being of children and their families reflects the same values and mission that Sandy Hook Promise promotes in the Start With Hello program. Both organizations are also focused on youth leadership, development, and empowerment and creating inclusive school communities.

 

“We know that being a young student isn’t always easy. That’s why The Walt Disney Company is pleased to support the Start With Hello program to encourage young kids to take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness, encourage inclusive behavior, and prevent kids from feeling isolated,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company. “We are thrilled that our donation will go directly towards expanding this great program to reach young children during such formative years.”

 

Start With Hello is a results-proven and easy-to-implement program that empowers students to create an inclusive and connected community by reaching out to those who may be chronically isolated, marginalized, or rejected to let them know that they are seen and valued. The program is available to schools at no-cost.

 

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like you are invisible. It is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. Excessive feelings of isolation can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior. Young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence, and/or depression. As a result, many pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, and may choose to hurt themselves or others. SHP created the Start With Hello program as part of its mission to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they happen.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is 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 they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. 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.

SHP Statement on Bump Stock Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    

 

Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Bump Stock Ban

 

Newtown, CT – December 19, 2018 – Yesterday, the Trump administration announced a new federal regulation that will go into effect in late March, making it illegal to own bump stocks (aka slide fire devices) that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire rounds faster. This accessory was responsible for more than 50 deaths in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre.

In response to the bump stock ban, Sandy Hook Promise, the leading gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the Administration for taking this important step to minimize the potential impact of an active shooter situation,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “We also call upon Congress and the White House to place more focused, bipartisan attention on passing gun violence prevention legislation to stop gun violence before it can happen, by passing bipartisan policy including Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) and Universal Background Checks. We know that gun violence is preventable when we Know the Signs and these necessary regulations can further the safety of our communities and schools,” he continued.

To date, more than 5.5 million people 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 signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several 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. SHP is 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 they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  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 Mueffling Communications

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

Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Recommendations Report by Federal School Safety Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    

 

 Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Recommendations Report by Federal School Safety Commission

Newtown, CT – December 18, 2018 – Today, the Federal Commission on School Safety released a report detailing recommendations for improving the safety of schools in the United States. Research included nationwide forums with students, educators, law enforcement officers, and mental health professionals, among others -- including several Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club students and Promise Leaders within the Sandy Hook Promise network of violence prevention advocates and educators.

The report spans from prevention to protection and mitigation, as well as response and recovery. Many of the preventative measures recommended within the report -- such as creating a school culture of inclusion, monitoring social media as a source for threats, implementing anonymous reporting systems paired with training for students and educators, and establishing multidisciplinary threat assessment teams in schools -- support the value and need for the Know the Signs prevention programs exclusively offered by Sandy Hook Promise, including the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, Safety Assessment and Intervention, Say Something, and Start With Hello.

To further advance prevention efforts, Sandy Hook Promise has also called on Congress and the White House to support the passage of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). The Commission’s report highlighted the effectiveness of these laws in saving lives when someone is at risk of hurting themselves or others and called for the passage of these laws in all states.

While the report correctly identifies the need for violence prevention training and improved access to mental health professionals in our schools, it does not make the necessary recommendations for federal resources and investment to ensure these programs are available to all students, regardless of ability to pay. The report also puts forward disconcerting guidance for schools and districts to add more firearms to schools and on school grounds.

“We know that school violence is preventable, and the Commission’s report correctly points to the need for all students to have access to the training and resources to Know the Signs of potential violence and also have access to help,” said Mark Barden.  “While we agree with several of the recommendations, we are deeply concerned with the Department’s continued support for putting more firearms in our schools. We believe that teachers and school administrators should be focused on education, not weapons training. Much more bipartisan work and leadership is needed from this White House and the new Congress to save lives and protect our children.”

To date, more than 5.5 million people 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 signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several 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. SHP is 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 they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  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 Mueffling Communications | Stephanie Morris:  stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Announces Winners of the ‘Start with Hello’ Week School Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sandy Hook Promise Announces Winners of the ‘Start with Hello’ Week School Awards

December 17, 2018 -- NEWTOWN, CT -- Imagine being 10 years old and eating alone at a lunch table, surrounded by laughing classmates, and having no one to talk to. Making that uncomfortable, isolating experience a thing of the past is the common goal of eight Start with Hello Week School Award-winning schools and districts across the nation. 

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), the nation’s leading gun violence prevention organization, launched the awards in tandem with the larger Start with Hello Week national campaign to recognize school efforts to prevent bullying and violence. SHP selected Madeira Beach Fundamental in Madeira Beach, FL and Bloomfield School District in Bloomfield, NJ as the Grand Prize Winners; St. Stephens High School in Hickory, NC as the First Place Winner for Student Leadership, Spirit, Creativity, and Sustainability (Runners up: La Quinta Middle School in La Quinta, CA and Seaman Elementary School in Jericho, NY); and Hermosa Beach City School District in Hermosa, CA as the First Place Winner for Community Reach and Sustainability (Runners up: Smyrna School District in Smyrna, DE and Mannsdale Upper Elementary School in Madison, MS).

To qualify for the awards, each school and district must demonstrate active student involvement, creativity of expression in programmatic activities, broad community outreach, and concrete plans and commitment to sustaining the Start with Hello program long-term. Each winner received an award plaque, cash prize, and stipends to travel to the Annual SAVE Summit to share their stories and activities with SAVE Promise Club students from across the country.  Grand Prize winners also get a personal visit from one of the Sandy Hook Promise co-founders.

"Teaching empathy and compassion in early life is absolutely critical for preventing violence and depression,” said Nicole Hockley, Co-founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting. “By integrating these values in school culture, we ensure that our schools can be supportive safe havens for our children. This can have a life-long impact.”

About Start with Hello:  Start with Hello (SWH) is a no-cost program designed to help kids in grades 2 through 12 to break the ice, overcome social barriers, and get to know one another in order to create and sustain an inclusive culture and school community.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is 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 they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  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. 

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Contact: Aimee Thunberg

Communications Director

Sandy Hook Promise                                

aimee.thunberg@sandyhookpromise.org 203.304.9780 x177

Sandy Hook Promise Announces Winners of the Start with Hello Student Voices Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Sandy Hook Promise Announces Winners of the Start with Hello Week School Awards 

December 17, 2018 -- NEWTOWN, CT -- Imagine being 10 years old and eating alone at a lunch table, surrounded by laughing classmates, and having no one to talk to. Making that uncomfortable, isolating experience a thing of the past is the common goal of eight Start with Hello Week School Award-winning schools and districts across the nation.   

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), the nation’s leading gun violence prevention organization, launched the awards in tandem with the larger Start with Hello Week national campaign to recognize school efforts to prevent bullying and violence. SHP selected Madeira Beach Fundamental in Madeira Beach, FL and Bloomfield School District in Bloomfield, NJ as the Grand Prize Winners; St. Stephens High School in Hickory, NC as the First Place Winner for Student LeadershipSpirit, Creativity, and Sustainability (Runners up: La Quinta Middle School in La Quinta, CA and Seaman Elementary School in Jericho, NY); and Hermosa Beach City School District in Hermosa, CA as the First Place Winner for Community Reach and Sustainability (Runners up: Smyrna School District in Smyrna, DE and Mannsdale Upper Elementary School in Madison, MS). 

To qualify for the awards, each school and district must demonstrate active student involvement, creativity of expression in programmatic activities, broad community outreach, and concrete plans and commitment to sustaining the Start with Hello program long-term. Each winner received an award plaque, cash prize, and stipends to travel to the Annual SAVE Summit to share their stories and activities with SAVE Promise Club students from across the country.  Grand Prize winners also get a personal visit from one of the Sandy Hook Promise co-founders. 

"Teaching empathy and compassion in early life is absolutely critical for preventing violence and depression,” said Nicole Hockley, Co-founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting. “By integrating these values in school culture, we ensure that our schools can be supportive safe havens for our children. This can have a life-long impact.” 

About Start with Hello:  Start with Hello (SWH) is a no-cost program designed to help kids in grades 2 through 12 to break the ice, overcome social barriers, and get to know one another in order to create and sustain an inclusive culture and school community.  

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is 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 they happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  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.  

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Contact: Aimee Thunberg 

Communications Director 

Sandy Hook Promise                                  

aimee.thunberg@sandyhookpromise.org 203.304.9780 x177 

Sandy Hook Promise's Know The Signs Public Service Announcements

Each year, Sandy Hook Promise produces creative and compelling public service announcements (PSA) illustrating that gun violence is preventable when you “Know the Signs.” In 2016, our “Evan” PSA went viral with more than 1 billion views worldwide, effectively changing the conversation on gun violence prevention. Watch all of the videos below and share to encourage others to #knowthesigns!

 

Point Of View (2018)

It’s class election day at Central Tate High and everyone has a point of view.

 

The Other Side (2018)

Learn the signs. Take action. Tell your school to adopt the no-cost "Say Something Anonymous Reporting System" at SaySomething.net.

 

As It Happens (2018)

You can stop the next one.

 

Tomorrow's News (2017)

A school shooting is expected tomorrow, but you can help change #TomorrowsNews.

 

Evan (2016)

As the school year winds down, one student finds himself starting an unexpected relationship.