Close this search box.

Sandy Hook Promise Applauds Appropriation of STOP School Violence Act Funds and Calls For More Action from Congress to Prioritize Community Safety

Statement of Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund Co-Founder and CEO Mark Barden

NEWTOWN, Conn. —  Over the weekend, President Biden approved funding for the STOP School Violence Act as part of a wider appropriations package. Sandy Hook Promise played an integral part of the development and passage of this bipartisan legislation in 2018. With more access to funds through the STOP Act, schools will be able to access violence prevention programs like Sandy Hook Promise’s lifesaving Know the Signs programs, which have trained more than 21 million youth and adults in 24,000+ schools, helping prevent at least 16 planned school shootings and countless acts of violence. 

While we celebrate this major win for school safety, we are extremely discouraged to see that the spending package also included the harmful Kennedy Amendment, which would roll back background checks system for firearms particularly for Veterans at risk. The inclusion of this amendment is counterproductive to keeping communities safe. 

Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, made the following statement in response: 

“While we took one step forward by appropriating funds for the STOP School Violence Act, we risk taking several steps back with the inclusion of the harmful Kennedy Amendment in the latest spending bill. We know that background checks play an important role in preventing at-risk individuals from being able to purchase a firearm. While we are excited that more schools will have access to life-saving prevention programming, we know that more must be done to ensure our communities remain safe spaces.”  

“At Sandy Hook Promise, we’re committed to bipartisan, holistic solutions to gun violence prevention. Since our founding, we have passed legislation under each administration, and we know that solutions are possible when we prioritize the wellbeing of young people, who are bearing the brunt of this ongoing crisis. We urge Congress to continue prioritizing legislation that keeps students safe through the advancement of critical legislation such as the PLAN Act and continued funding for the STOP School Violence Act.


The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund (SHPAF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization committed to protecting all children from gun violence in schools, homes, and communities. The SHP Action Fund advances a holistic policy platform that promotes gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education. The organization works at the state and federal level to pass nonpartisan legislation through inclusive partnerships, diverse grassroots education, and community mobilization. It is part of Sandy Hook Promise, founded and 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: 

Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579