February 7, 2020 — Newtown, CT — Yesterday, students from Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas urged the public safety and homeland security committee members to take action on ensuring safe storage of firearms and providing gun violence prevention programs for schools. Their demands come in the wake of the shooting at their school on January 14 that took the life of 19-year-old Cesar Cortes.
In response to this outcry for action, Sandy Hook Promise issued the following statement:
“It always hurts me deeply when I hear about another young life taken by gun violence. But the students at Bellaire High School and their call for change bring me hope and should inspire us all to take action,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
“We need to raise up the voices of courageous students like Ioana Necht, who said more metal detectors are not the answer, but rather, ‘There are also other ways to take precautionary measures such as counseling services and education about the importance of not bringing a gun to school in the first place,’ and reminding us all that ‘it’s because people don’t feel safe, that we need to create a safe space for them to really get an education.’
“This is exactly why, during the 2019 legislative session, Sandy Hook Promise worked to ensure the state’s leading school safety bill included opportunities to bring violence prevention education like our Say Something and Start with Hello trainings into schools at no cost. More and more studies on school shootings, including an exhaustive research report recently released by the U.S. Secret Service, have found that preventative measures that educate and empower youth are the best ways to prevent violence in our schools before a student ever picks up a gun to harm themselves or others.
“I applaud Ioana and the rest of her classmates for demanding more be done to provide a safe and secure environment for our children without fear of violence. Sandy Hook Promise stands with these students, as we continue to equip them along with nearly 500,000 other youth across the state of Texas to ‘know the signs’ to prevent violence. ”
To date, more than 11 million people nationwide have participated 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 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 create a culture engaged in preventing shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools. Through its proven Know the Signs 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. 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.
Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646.761.5579