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Sandy Hook Promise program helped prevent Florida school shooting

Sandy Hook Promise ‘Say Something Anonymous Reporting System’ program in Pinellas County empowers students to be ‘upstanders’

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Earlier this week, Pinellas County deputies arrested a 15-year-old teen after students alerted officials via the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System of the threats he made about shooting and bombing his school.

“East Lake High School students saved the day when they decided to be upstanders and warned their trusted adults about threats of violence,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “This is another example of the importance of violence prevention programs like the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System in preventing school shootings from happening.”

Pinellas County schools partner with Sandy Hook Promise to implement Know the Signs programs that teach students, educators and parents how to recognize the warning signs of someone who was at risk of harming themselves or others. Such signs offer an opportunity to interrupt violence. According to an analysis by the U.S. Secret Service of every major school shooting, in almost every case, students observed warning signs in advance of school violence. Sandy Hook Promise’s programs teach what these warning signs are and when and how to tell a trusted adult.

Focusing on knowing the signs to prevent violence have been proven to work. To date, more than 18 million people have participated in Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs programs and have resulted in saving more than 350 lives and averting countless acts of violence, including at least 10 credible planned attacks at schools in rural, urban and suburban communities.

All of these programs are research-based, align with Social-Emotional Learning curriculum requirements, and training can be delivered in a single class period. All are accessible online and at no-cost to schools.

“If students know the signs and take action, they can save lives,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “We need to empower more kids with the support and resources they need to be upstanders in their schools and communities.”


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.