Close this search box.

Sandy Hook Promise Honors U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján and Todd Young for Bipartisan Work to Protect Children in Schools, Homes, and Communities

Washington D.C. – June 6, 2024 – Bipartisan efforts in gun violence prevention took center stage on Wednesday, when hundreds of congressional officials joined leaders from Sandy Hook Promise in Washington D.C. for the annual Promise Champions Gala event. This year’s event honored U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN), for their work in advancing gun violence prevention and school safety.  

“The progress that’s taken place in school safety legislation is a testament to the power of bipartisan collaboration, and we applaud Senators Luján and Young for their support and leadership in this critical mission,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and co-CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “We’re committed to working across the aisle to address the root causes of gun violence and build a future where every student is safe in school.” 

Senator Young was honored for his support on the STOP School Violence Act, which makes critical funding available to implement evidence-informed violence prevention programs in schools. 

“I believe the investments made in mental healthcare are transformational,” Senator Young said. “However, together, we have to build on this momentum and continue to de-stigmatize mental health and provide proper care. This critical funding is empowering schools to implement proven strategies and programs that are making a real difference in keeping our students safe. These funds are also helping to train students to look out for signs of potential violence with Sandy Hook Promise leading the charge through the Know the Signs prevention program. I hope we can continue to work together to find bipartisan solutions to prioritize the safety of all of our nation’s children and grandchildren for a long time to come.”  

Senator Luján was recognized for his leadership on the Kid PROOF Act. Sandy Hook Promise worked with members of Congress to draft this bipartisan legislation, which helps address rising rates of youth suicide and overdose by providing grants for lockboxes so families can store medications or other potentially dangerous items. 

“My legislative team was part of a group that was working with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and we were able to develop something in conjunction with Sandy Hook Promise called the Kid PROOF act. This is just one of those reminders that something small can be profound. When we’re at some of the darkest moments in our days, in our lives, having a moment to share a word with a loved one or just to collect our thoughts and delay an action can save our life. That’s the beauty behind the Kid PROOF act,” Senator Luján said.  

The development of bipartisan strategies to prevent gun violence is one aspect of Sandy Hook Promise’s holistic approach to ending school shootings and gun violence. To date, more than 23 million people nationwide have participated in the organization’s proven “Know the Signs” programs, which train youth and adults to recognize warning signs of violence and when and how to get help. Through these evidence-informed violence prevention programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted at least 16 credible planned school shooting attacks and saved more than 650 young lives from suicide, among countless other acts of violence.  

Event photos here. Credit: Pixelmestudio. 


Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. 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. 

Media Contact:

Nick Dmitrovich | [email protected] | 219-552-4258