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Sandy Hook Promise Commends Congress For Strengthening Investment In Safer Schools

Newtown, CT — Today, Congress passed the FY20 spending bill that included $125 million in funding for evidence-based school violence prevention under the STOP School Violence Act.

Sandy Hook Promise applauds the strong bipartisan leadership in both chambers that supported this effort to allocate much-needed funds for violence prevention programs and threat assessment teams in schools that will help stop suicides and school threats and save lives. SHP issued the following statement:

“Protecting our children is paramount. Schools are safer when we teach students and adults to ‘know the signs’ and reach out when they see someone hurting or need help themselves. We applaud the continued bipartisan commitment of this committee to improve school safety through prevention and early intervention to stop future tragedies before they can happen,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and the father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

STOP Act funding was championed by Senate CJS Subcommittee Chairman Moran (R-KS), CJS Subcommittee Ranking Member Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Capito (R-WV), Sen. Murphy (D-CT), Sen. Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD), Sen. Klobuchar (D-MT), Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Grassley (R-IO), and Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) and House CJS Subcommittee Chairman José Serrano (D-NY-15), CJS Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Aderholt (R-AL-04), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-04), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY-05), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10), Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN-5), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-02), and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16).

The FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill provides $125 million for the Department of Justice’s STOP School Violence Act, including $75 million for the Bureau of Justice Assistance to support school violence prevention training  grants to states, local governments, and Tribes for the purposes of training students and school personnel to identify signs of violence and intervene early to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. The funding can also be used to for the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems, and formation of evidence-based school threat assessment and intervention teams to help schools intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes.

The STOP School Violence Act was introduced in the House of Representatives before the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to build off of the research and lessons learned from Sandy Hook and other tragic shootings and scale proven, evidence-based early intervention programming to schools across the country to prevent future school shootings, suicides, and other forms of school violence. It was passed as part of the FY2018 omnibus funding bill. Sandy Hook Promise proudly worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 that will train millions more students and adults to “know the signs” of gun violence and how to act to prevent it.

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


Media Contact:

Aimee Thunberg, Communications Director

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