Newtown, CT — As millions of students returned to school in-person amid soaring rates of gun violence, fears have reached an all-time high with more threats being reported.
In the past week alone, there were reported threats of school shootings in Florida, New York, Nevada, California, and Wisconsin. In Philadelphia, children are afraid to go to school, citing a “war zone” after seeing their friends and family being gunned down in their communities.
2021 is on track to surpass 2020 as the most deadly year for gun violence ever recorded. More than 4,765 kids age 17 and under have already been killed or injured by a firearm this year. And these figures increase daily. The pain and trauma of gun violence ripples throughout entire communities, whether or not there is a personal connection with the shootings or any of the victims.
In response to these devastating trends, Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan who was killed in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, issued the following statement:
“Childhood is supposed to be the time in your life when you feel safest. Every child deserves to learn without fear or threats of an attack. We are doing everything we can to ensure every school in the U.S. has the tools to teach the warning signs of potential violence and how to get help. No community is immune to gun violence. The fear and trauma kids are experiencing now will only deepen if we pass this public health epidemic on to them and their kids. We must take action to protect our kids with sensible gun safety laws like Expanded Background Checks, Safe Storage, and Extreme Risk Protection Orders.”
School shootings and gun violence are not inevitable — they are preventable. To date, nearly 15 million people nationwide have participated in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.
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.
Aimee Thunberg, Senior Director, Communications, Sandy Hook Promise | [email protected] | 646-761-5579