Yesterday, the federal government announced the grantees for Department of Justice funding that allows more states, school districts, and tribal organizations to bring evidence-based violence prevention programs to millions more youth nationwide. This funding is made possible by the STOP School Violence Act and, beginning this year, includes support for a new national training center for school safety.
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) will partner with the University of Michigan School of Public Health to develop a national research and training center on school safety, as an extension of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s STOP School Violence Training and Technical Assistance Program. SHP will serve as lead for the violence prevention and notification technology training teams, helping develop the resources, knowledge, and capacity of STOP School Violence grantees across the nation.
“As a longstanding partner with the University of Michigan, we look forward to growing this relationship as a significant contributor to the national training and technical center that will benefit all STOP School Violence awardees,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “Ultimately, this work will help prevent countless potential shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools.”
“Addressing school violence requires a comprehensive, multifaceted, and multidisciplinary approach that can be tailored to unique school contexts,” said Marc Zimmerman, co-principal investigator, Marshall H. Becker Collegiate Professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. “We’ve assembled a great team that we hope will make a difference to reduce violence and help create safer and healthier futures for our nation’s youth.”
Thanks also to this funding, SHP will partner with the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University, the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the West Palm Beach School District in Florida to train more than 3,000 schools how to identify, intervene,and get help for individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others, and prevent violence before it can happen.
“We are so proud to partner with these great states and school districts that are committed, like us, to preventing shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools. Thanks to the funding allocated by the STOP School Violence Act, our lifesaving programs will help ensure many more students get help when they need it, making school communities safer and more connected,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.
To date, more than 7.5 million people nationwide have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s proven Know the Signs programs that focus on prevention to help end the epidemic of gun violence by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.
About the STOP School Violence Act:
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 early intervention programming to schools across the country to prevent future school shootings, suicides, and other forms of school violence and victimization. It was passed and signed into law on March 28, 2018, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. Sandy Hook Promise proudly worked with Republicans and Democrats to write and pass this legislation.
Fiscal Year 2018 STOP School Violence Act grants were awarded on September 30, 2018, with over $70M in awards going to 244 state and local governments in 44 states across the nation. Fiscal Year 2019 STOP School Violence Act grant applications were awarded on September 30, 2019. For more information, visit BJA’s STOP School Violence Act webpage.
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 they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be 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 www.sandyhookpromise.org.