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Sandy Hook Promise statement on Newport News school shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Friday, a teacher was shot in her classroom by a six-year-old student, at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. This shooting could have been prevented if the gun had been securely stored by an adult.

In response to the latest tragedy, 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, issued the following statement:

“Our hearts are heavy for the students, teachers, staff and families of Richneck Elementary School. Yet again, our country looks on in shock and disbelief as another community is victimized by gun violence. The lives of the injured teacher and the students who saw her shot are irrevocably changed. They and the entire Richneck Elementary community must live with the trauma.

“While there is no single law that can put an end to gun violence, secure storage of firearms is one critical and common sense approach to protecting the safety of our children and communities. To prevent children and other prohibited persons from accessing a gun, the best practice is storing all firearms in a locked case, unloaded and separate from ammunition, and in a location known only to those legally allowed to operate it.

“Newport News and the nation are reeling, following this tragic shooting, struggling to understand how a young child could bring a loaded gun into a classroom. We must demand that public officials take immediate action to pass secure storage legislation to help prevent tragedies like this and end gun violence now.”


Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. 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] | 646-761-5579