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Sandy Hook Promise Co-Founders Respond to Lies Fueled by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

Congresswoman’s commentary supports the conspiracy theory that school shootings are staged

Newtown, CT — This week, Media Matters for America surfaced pre-election posts by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R – GA) spreading conspiracy theories that school shootings like those that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School — where 20 children and 6 educators were killed — and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — where 14 students and 3 staff members were killed — were staged and not real. 

In response to this horrific assertion, the co-founders of Sandy Hook Promise — Nicole Hockley, Mark and Jackie Barden, and William Sherlach, who each had a loved one murdered in the Sandy Hook tragedy — issued the following statements:

“This kind of dangerous and irresponsible thinking is disgusting and appalling, and it is even more reprehensible when it comes from an elected official who’s focus should be on keeping children safe,” commented Mark Barden, managing director of Sandy Hook Promise. “Jackie and I demand that she renounce these theories and that she be held accountable for spreading these vile statements that put our families at further risk of violence.”

“I invite Rep. Greene and anyone else who believes that the Sandy Hook tragedy was anything but the massacre it was, to come to Newtown,” said Nicole Hockley, managing director of Sandy Hook Promise. “I will show you the urn that holds my beautiful butterfly Dylan’s ashes and his bullet-hole-riddled sweatshirt. Then we can talk about how to make sure this never happens again to anyone else.”

“School shootings are not a partisan issue. They are a human issue,” said William Sherlach, chairman of the board of Sandy Hook Promise. “Statements like those made by Rep. Greene are personal attacks on every school shooting survivor and undermine our collective work to ensure no other family has to endure the relentless, excruciating pain of senseless gun violence.” 

** Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley, co-founders and managing directors of Sandy Hook Promise, are available for further commentary or interviews. See contact information below. **


About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed Know the Signs prevention 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. Through nonpartisan policy and partnerships, SHP advances gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education at the state and federal levels that protect all children from gun violence in their schools, homes, and communities. 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:  

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