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Sandy Hook Promise Program Helps Avert School Shooting

Sandy Hook Promise “Say Something” Prevents Cincinnati School Tragedy

“Say Something”, the free research-based program developed by Sandy Hook Promise, is already having an impact. During this week’s national Say Something Week, over 200,000 students in grades 6-12 will be trained how to recognize warning signs, signals and threats from friends or individuals who may want to hurt themselves or others, and intervene by talking to a trusted adult to get help. Students and school members who have been trained previously are already seeing the benefit of the program.

“I never imagined how immediately Say Something would become relevant in our school,” said a middle school Guidance Counselor in Cincinnati. “As we were preparing for Say Something Week, a student who was training to be a Say Something leader came to talk to me about hearing another student make threats to bomb the school, and was recruiting another student to shoot escaping students. Because I had been trained in Say Something, I knew how to deal with this risk. Upon investigation, the student making the threats was arrested and taken into custody.

“I wouldn’t have known about this unless that student had said something to me. Say Something demonstrates the important role young people play in looking out for each other and in being the ears and eyes of their school. It also demonstrates why it is so important to listen to young people who come to us for help.”

When it comes to acts of violence, including suicide and threats to others, most are communicated in some way before the incident occurs. In fact, in 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker told people of his/her plans ahead of time and 70% of people who die by suicide told someone of their intention or gave some type of warning or indication. By teaching our youth how to properly identify and report threats, they can help keep themselves, their friends and their family safe.

“Our Say Something program has the potential to protect thousands of children,” said Nicole Hockley, Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley who was also killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. “We want schools and youth organizations across the country to join us October 19-23, or any other time, in raising awareness, educating students and the community and saving lives. We’ve already seen how it has protected students in Cincinnati. Imagine how many families could be spared the agony of losing a loved one if teens knew how to Say Something about their peers who may be threatening to hurt themselves or others.”

All schools and youth organizations are encouraged to register to participate in Say Something Week at and help their students be trained in how to prevent tragedies and “Say Something” to a trusted adult. Once registered, users will be given digital access, at no-cost, to Say Something training materials. By participating they may also be eligible to apply for a special $10,000 “Say Something” award. (Rules and the entry form are on the website.)


About Sandy Hook Promise

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.  Learn more at