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Students raise awareness to prevent school shootings and violence

National organizations and local communities partner with Sandy Hook Promise to elevate youth violence prevention efforts

NEWTOWN, Conn. — This week, thousands of students nationwide will be bringing attention to the role we all have to play in ending school shootings and violence. More than a dozen national organizations will be supporting their efforts, along with local communities across the country.

National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW), April 24-28, 2023 brings communities together to raise awareness about youth violence and the everyday prosocial actions that can prevent tragedy. This week-long nonviolence campaign elevates the important role young people play in making their schools and communities safer.

Student-led initiatives during the week include everything from community parades and social media campaigns to art contests and video productions. The activities emphasize the importance of being an “upstander” who reaches out for help when seeing the warning signs of someone in crisis. The annual call-to-action campaign is led by Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club, who kicked off the week of action with the annual National SAVE Promise Club Youth Summit in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 22, 2023.

In addition to helping to make schools safer and save lives, Sandy Hook Promise’s SAVE Promise Club initiative plays an important role in youth leadership development. Justin J. Pearson — a Tennessee legislator who was expelled from and then reinstated into the State Legislature for his participation in an anti-gun-violence demonstration on the floor of the State House of Representatives following the recent Nashville school shooting — is a former SAVE Promise Club member. He spoke at the summit in Cleveland.

More than a dozen organizations are partnering in the NYVPW campaign including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American School Counselors Association, the Children’s Mental Health Network, Cities United, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

“Student involvement is critical to creating safer schools; they have to be a part of the discussion,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “Students are the eyes and ears of their community. We must equip them to know what the warning signs of violence are and when and how to speak up to get help.”

Free online resources developed by Sandy Hook Promise’s National Youth Advisory Board, staff and educators offer valuable tools to engage communities in NYVPW. The Action Kit maps out a week’s worth of activities, making it easy for students, educators and parents to get involved.


Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. 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. 

Media Contact:

Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579