Sandy Hook Promise turns tragedy to transformation by making schools and communities safer
Newtown, CT ̶ Today, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading gun violence prevention organization, announced that more than 11 million students and educators have participated in one or more of its Know the Signs programs since their inception in late 2014. These programs focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training others 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.
“Saving other parents from the excruciating pain of losing a child to gun violence has been my life’s work since the death of my beautiful butterfly, Dylan, seven years ago,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise. “Behind every story of a life being saved or a shooting being thwarted, there is a student who had the courage to speak up about what they were seeing. That is the most important thing we can teach our kids to keep their schools safe.”
Founded in the weeks following the mass shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Promise began with a solemn “promise” to protect children from gun violence. This led to the research and development of Start with Hello and Say Something, and in 2018, the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, all age-appropriate programs that teach students and educators the warning signs of potential violence, including bullying and social isolation, common precursors for violent acts, and how to intervene before a tragedy can occur.
Students trained in the Say Something program have submitted more than 40,000 tips through school- and state-based Anonymous Reporting Systems. To further support school districts in this critical, lifesaving work, Sandy Hook Promise launched in November the first and only national crisis center that is 100% dedicated to 24/7/365 anonymous reporting for schools using the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System program.
Providing tools for students to safely report concerns is proven to save lives. A potential mass shooting was averted in a middle school after several students reported via the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System that someone with access to a gun wanted to attack the school. Messages from the alleged would-be shooter include, “Glock 9 in my bag – ready to roll – good luck finding me tomorrow.” Law enforcement was able to intervene before a tragedy could occur and determined that this threat was credible. In another incident, paramedics, who received a tip about a suicide in progress, rushed to help a young girl who had already swallowed a handful of pills in the school bathroom. The girl was brought to the hospital where she received lifesaving treatment. These interventions, and many more, happened because students who saw concerning behavior knew to speak up and how to do that: a simple, yet profound, act that saves lives and makes schools safer.
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 create a culture engaged in preventing shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools. Through its proven Know the Signs programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or 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. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.