Newtown, CT – Last week, the Centers for Disease Control released its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report confirming that school homicides across the country have become more common and deadlier. It is reported that guns were used in 95 percent of school-linked homicides with multiple victims.
In response to this report, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading national gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:
“According to this study, an American student’s likelihood of dying in a school shooting is the highest rate it has ever been. This is wholly unacceptable, especially when we all have the means to stop violence before it occurs,” Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. “We have started 2019 with good momentum to help curb this uptick in violence in our schools with the introduction of the background checks bill in Congress, the passage of Extreme Risk Protection Orders in NY, the introduction of the Safety and Violence Education for Students Act in MA, and the introduction of Ethan’s Law in CT, but there is still much work to be done within every community and school. While reactive measures are good to have in place for imminent danger, we also need to ensure that students, educators, and parents ‘Know the Signs’ of at-risk behaviors and how to properly intervene before violence occurs.”
According to the study, in 1994 to 2018 there were 38 school rampages that resulted in multiple fatalities, however, five of those occurred during the 2017-2018 academic year — including the shootings at Parkland, FL and Santa Fe, TX.
The CDC report also states that the motives for most violence in schools point to typical teenage stressors, such as reacting to a bully, rivalry between peer groups, interpersonal disputes, a bad grade, or romantic break-ups. All of these incidents can be diffused without violence if youth and adults know the signs to look out for and how to properly intervene. It is known that when firearms are more readily available, these incidents can escalate to become more lethal, and according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, one in three U.S. home with children under 18 has a firearm and 43 percent of those homes, it is kept unlocked and loaded.
More than 5.5 million people 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 signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.
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 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.
Dini von Mueffling Communications Stephanie Morris: [email protected] | 646-650-5005