Yesterday, the Safety and Violence Education for Students (SAVE Students) Act took a big step forward in Ohio, passing the State House of Representatives by a vote of 85-7. This legislation will help combat the crisis of violence, bullying, and suicide that is devastating our nation’s schools by ensuring all of the state’s middle and high school students are trained to “know the signs.”
In response to the passage of this legislation, Sandy Hook Promise released the following statement:
“When Sandy Hook Promise started in 2014, Ohio was the first state to embrace our programmatic approach to school safety,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “The SAVE Students Act further reinforces Ohio’s leadership role in establishing a statewide standard for safety programming by giving all middle and high school students access to life-saving trainings. We are very grateful to OH Rep. Gayle Manning for her leadership on this bill, as well as the Ohio House of Representatives for passing this important piece of legislation,” Barden continued.
The SAVE Students Act requires that all middle and high school students in Ohio have access to evidence-based programming that teaches how to combat social isolation and build inclusive community, identify the signs and signals of interpersonal violence and suicide, and how to reach out for help. It also requires that all middle and high school students have access to an anonymous reporting system to collect tips and information about potential threats to the safety of Ohio students.
Additionally, the SAVE Students Act ensures that all Ohio schools have a designated school threat assessment team that is trained on how to identify and intervene when threats of violence are made and how to get students help before a crisis. The establishment of school threat assessment teams in every school was a leading recommendation from mental health and school safety experts following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
The bill now moves to the Ohio State Senate for consideration. If passed, and signed into law by Governor DeWine, Ohio will be the first state to establish requirements for these kinds of life-saving trainings, setting a new national standard.
To date, more than 7.5 million people nationwide 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 programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted countless school shooting plots, teen suicides, and 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 can 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. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.
Aimee Thunberg [email protected] | 203.304.9780, x177