Today, not even two months into 2018, we saw the 18th school shooting in America this year. Parkland, Florida joined a rapidly growing number of American communities that have been affected by the deadly consequences of gun violence. A 19-year-old former student pulled the fire alarm and opened fire at terrified students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as they were dismissing for the day, killing at least 17 and injuring many others. Our hearts are with the Parkland, FL community as we understand all too well what the community is going through today, and in the days to come.
This is the fifth school shooting just this month and there were 13 recorded in January 2018. The frequency of school shootings are increasing at an alarming rate, and they happen at this rate nowhere else in the world. Students are only midway through the school year, continuously witnessing attack after attack, by many perpetrators who showed signs of a crisis before they turned violent.
All students across this country deserve to feel safe at school. We can no longer ignore this issue. It is not the time to feel helpless or hopeless, it is time to speak out, take action, and protect our kids from senseless, preventable gun violence.
Here’s what you can do today:
Train youth to spot the signs and how to properly intervene through our Know The Signs Programs:
– With these proven programs, students, educators, parents and community leaders can learn how to identity at-risk behaviors, assess threats and properly intervene before a tragedy occurs.
– 80 percent of school shooters told someone of their violent plan or exhibited warning signs.
– To date, these programs have helped avert several school shooting plots and threats, as well as teen suicides and other acts of violence.
Support Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs)
– An ERPO is state-level legislation that temporarily removes guns from a person deemed to be an imminent risk to themselves or others.
– This legislation doesn’t infringe on the Second Amendment, and gun rights can be reinstated once the person exhibiting at-risk behaviors is no longer a threat.
– ERPOs are available in California, Connecticut, Oregon, and Washington and over 19 other states have introduced similar legislation.
Talk to your legislators:
– Demand sustainable gun violence prevention methods be implemented
– Also, we urge you to call Representatives to support the STOP School Violence Act of 2019. This legislation invests in early intervention and prevention programs to stop school violence.
Make the Promise and/or get your community and schools involved with our other Know the Signs programs:
– Join us and Make the Promise to protect children from gun violence
– Bring our Know the Signs programs to your community or school to teach students and adults how to be “upstanders” by knowing the signs and how to intervene.
As we know, no community, town, or city is exempt from the scourge of gun violence. There are steps we can all take and we can start TODAY. We are overdue for sustainable gun violence prevention measures and need to make a change before more innocent children lose their lives.
We hold Parkland close and grieve with them tonight, and we promise to wake up tomorrow determined to honor the lost and work until the violence ends. Our children deserve nothing less.
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 it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene and get help for at-risk individuals. 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.