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Students Speak Up, Saving Lives in Wisconsin

During a recent incident where an armed assailant was observed outside of a middle school in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, students at the school immediately told staff about seeing someone suspicious approaching the campus. Their actions likely saved lives, as the armed individual was engaged and killed by law enforcement outside of the school before they were able to enter the building. This incident is a true testament of how training students to speak up can effectively prevent a school shooting.

“While it is heartbreaking that a juvenile offender lost their life in this tragic situation, the actions of the young students who informed school officials about what they saw are heroic and probably prevented further loss of life. That’s why it is so vital that we continue to educate our young people to spot the signs that signal a person’s intent to harm, and immediately tell a trusted adult so steps can be taken to save lives,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

One example of upstream violence prevention training that teaches students to report concerning behaviors is the Say Something program developed by Sandy Hook Promise. It’s a sobering fact that in 4 out of 5 school shootings, someone knew about the attacker’s plan but didn’t report it. That’s why this type of training is so important.

The Say Something program is proven to prevent school shootings, youth violence, and suicide and help foster a more supportive school culture. With flexible training options that can be delivered in as little as 40 minutes, youth and adults learn to recognize warning signs and when and how to get help.

For more information on how your school community can utilize the Say Something program, often at no cost, visit


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:

Nick Dmitrovich | [email protected] | 219-552-4258