Press Releases

Sandy Hook Promise Awarded $700,000 Grant by National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

Sandy Hook Promise Awarded $700,000 Grant by National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research  

July 26, 2019 – Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) has been awarded a $700,000 grant over three years by the National Collaborative for Gun Violence Research to evaluate the effectiveness of Start With Hello and Say Something violence prevention programs in Los Angeles Unified School District, the third largest public school district in the nation.  

SHP’s study, in partnership with the University of Michigan, is among $9.8 million in grants announced by the collaborative for 17 research projects that will produce evidence for improving gun policy in America. Collectively, the grants are among the largest funding awards for gun policy research since the federal government abandoned significant funding in this area more than two decades ago.  

This study was selected from among 47 full proposals invited by the collaborative after receiving 248 letters of interest responding to its proposal request. The study will measure the programs’ ability to teach youth to recognize and report potential violence and mental health threats while improving school climate to become more socially inclusive and promote positive youth behaviors, reducing risks for firearm-related violence and firearm related behaviors. The study will track outcomes longitudinally over a three-year period (2019-2022) via a two-group cluster randomized control trial that will involve students from 48 middle schools across the district.  

“America needs evidence-based answers on the causes of gun violence and how to prevent it,” said Andrew Morral, director of the collaborative. “These research projects, selected first and foremost for their rigor, will generate evidence for informing policy that protects the public and preserves the rights of responsible gun owners.” 

Despite more than 38,000 deaths and 115,000 firearm-related injuries a year in the United States, the federal government invests only a fraction as much in gun violence research as it does in other causes of death that kill similar numbers of people.  

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research supports carefully selected, rigorous research designed to broaden agreement on the facts associated with gun policy, and support development of fair and effective policies. The collaborative is administered by the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and began operation with $20 million in funding from the Texas-based Arnold Ventures. The collaborative seeks charitable contributions to support its ongoing work. 

For more information, go to www.ncgvr.org. 

 

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Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center’s “Mass Attacks in Public Spaces” Report

For Immediate Release

 

Statement from Sandy Hook Promise on the Secret Service

National Threat Assessment Center’s “Mass Attacks in Public Spaces” Report

 

July 10, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Yesterday, the Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center published its annual “Mass Attacks in Public Spaces” report studying 27 attacks in schools, places of worship, and workplaces. The findings reinforce the fact that gun violence can be prevented by recognizing at-risk behaviors and taking action to intervene. In almost all cases studied, the perpetrators made overt threats and in more than 75% of the cases, someone else had noticed troubling signs.

In response, Sandy Hook Promise issued the following statement:

“The Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center’s latest report on mass attacks supports what we know to be true - that gun violence is preventable when we ‘know the signs’,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “The more we learn about the behaviors that correlate to increased potential for violence, stay vigilant, and ‘say something’ when we see warning signs or threats, the more tragedies we can intervene on and the more lives we can save. Our safety ultimately lies in our commitment to protecting one another.”

To date, more than 7.5 million people nationwide 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 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 prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can 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. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

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Media Contact: Dini von Mueffling Communications
Stephanie Morris | stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

Sandy Hook Promise Commends House for Strengthening Investment in Safer Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sandy Hook Promise Commends House for Strengthening Investment in Safer Schools

June 26, 2019 - Today, the House of Representatives passed the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2019 (CJS) bill to increase funding for evidence-based school violence prevention under the STOP School Violence Act.

Sandy Hook Promise applauds CJS Subcommittee Chairman José Serrano (D-NY-15), CJS Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Aderholt (R-AL-04), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-04), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY-05), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10), Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN-5), and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-2) for leading the effort to allocate $125 million for violence prevention programs and threat assessment teams in schools and issued the following statement:

“This funding is critical to protecting our children. We know that violence and suicide in our schools are preventable when we teach students and adults to ‘know the signs’ and reach out when they see someone hurting or need help themselves. We applaud the House for taking this important step to improve school safety through prevention and early intervention to stop future tragedies before they can happen and urge swift passage in the Senate,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and the father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

The STOP School Violence Act makes $125 million of funding available for school violence prevention grants to states, local governments, and Tribes for the purposes of training students and school personnel to identify signs of violence and intervene early to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. The funding can also be used for the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems, and formation of evidence-based school threat assessment and intervention teams to help schools intake and triage threats before tragedy strikes.

The STOP School Violence Act was introduced in the House of Representatives before the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to build off of the research and lessons learned from Sandy Hook and other tragic shootings and scale proven, evidence-based early intervention programming to schools across the country to prevent future school shootings, suicides, and other forms of school violence. It was passed as part of the FY2018 omnibus funding bill. Sandy Hook Promise proudly worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the STOP School Violence Act of 2018 that will train millions more students and adults to “know the signs” of gun violence and how to act to prevent it.

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Celebrated Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Joins the Sandy Hook Promise Board of Directors

For Immediate Release

Celebrated Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter Joins the Sandy Hook Promise Board of Directors

 

June 25, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Today, former Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter began his tenure on the board of directors for Sandy Hook Promise, one of the nation’s leading gun violence prevention organizations.

Mayor Nutter managed Philadelphia through the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, earning the city an "A" credit rating by the three major credit rating agencies for the first time since the 1970s. In affiliation with the National League of Cities, Mayor Nutter co-launched Cities United, an initiative aimed at creating partnerships between cities, non-profits, and other stakeholders to combat violence and crime among African-American men and boys. He has also served on President Obama's “My Brother's Keeper” Advisory Council and the Homeland Security Advisory Council, as well as the Board of Directors for the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Council on Criminal Justice, among many other affiliations and advisory roles.

“I am honored, excited, and humbled to become a member of the Board of Sandy Hook Promise. This is an incredible organization that is managed and run by truly dedicated and committed parents and leaders,” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “There is no more important issue in America than the safety of our most precious and vulnerable citizens – our children and young people. I treasure the opportunity to serve Sandy Hook Promise."

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Sandy Hook Promise Hosted Fifth Annual Gala in Washington D.C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promise Hosted Fifth Annual Gala in Washington D.C.

U.S Senator Chris Coons and U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick were honored

for their work in gun violence prevention

 

Newtown, CT – On the evening of Wednesday, June 19th, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) hosted its fifth annual Promise Champions Gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C. to honor men and women from across the country for their work in gun violence prevention. The 2019 honorees included U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who are being recognized for their enduring commitment to creating safer communities.

 

Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club Youth Advisory Board Member, Kristina Alzugaray, held an engaging panel discussion with Senator Coons and Congressman Fitzpatrick to discuss the ways that each are currently championing for the safety of students and communities across the country at the legislative level, as well as ways that they will continue to do so in the future.

 

During the discussion, Congressman Fitzpatrick highlighted that, “SHP has shined a light on how hard it is to be a kid today” and, with all of the pressures that they face, that we should “move to a model where mental health services are available at schools.” Senator Coons, who has met with students who don’t feel safe because of active shooter drills and bullying, mentioned that “funding [should be available at the state level] for preventive training and mental health services.”

 

The honorary co-chairs for this year’s gala were Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-CT), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), the Senate Democratic Leader. Senator Blumenthal, Congresswoman Hayes, and Senator Murphy were joined by SAVE Promise Club Youth Advisory Board Member Braelyn Willis for a riveting discussion on school safety. Senator Schumer was unable to attend but submitted a video praising SHP for its efforts and mentioned that, “as long as I’m in the Senate, I will fight with [SHP] every day.”

 

During the panel discussion Senator Blumenthal opened by touching on a school shooting plot that was averted in Seymour, CT earlier this year, thanks for SHP’s Say Something program. “No community is safe from gun violence,” said Blumenthal. He continued with, “leadership by example is the most powerful way [to show students how to be proactive in stopping school violence]. Senator Murphy agreed stating that, “identification and intervention is key” to curbing violence in schools and that “when you train students, you can change the culture.” Congressman Hayes, who is a former educator, added, “we cannot have conversations about kids without including them in the conversation. We cannot ignore those closest to the problem.” She also praised SHP for including the dynamic student leaders in the event and encouraging dialogue between the youth and change makers.

 

SHP’s mission galvanized support from both sides of the political aisle, as more than 100 members of Congress came together to serve on the honorary co-chair committee for this event. They were joined by esteemed business and philanthropic leaders and volunteers from across the nation who are creating change within their communities.

 

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Sandy Hook Promised Partnered Schools are Presented with Los Angeles Unified School District the Human Relations Award for Creating a Safer School Environment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Sandy Hook Promised Partnered Schools are Presented with Los Angeles Unified School District the Human Relations Award for Creating a Safer School Environment

 

Los Angeles Unified School District’s Commission on Human Relations, Diversity, and Equality Recognizes Student Groups That Support Inclusive and Affirming School Campuses

 

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) praises the 11 Los Angeles Unified School District high schools that were presented with the 2018/19 Human Relations Award for making positive contributions toward creating safer, respectful, and healthy learning environments. These schools are being recognized by Los Angeles Unified for “being the change we wish to see.”

 

Seven of the schools being recognized also partnered with Sandy Hook Promise to adopt SAVE Promise Clubs within their school communities to help foster more supportive learning environments:

 

· Eagle Rock Junior and Senior High School

· Marshall High School

· Monroe High School

· San Fernando High School

· San Pedro High School

· University High School

· Van Nuys High School

 

“It is so encouraging to see that within a year of starting their SAVE Promise Clubs, students are embodying the key takeaways from the Say Something and Start with Hello programs and infusing them throughout school culture, promoting a more supportive and connected learning environment,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. “Every student should be in a school environment that is positive, inclusive, and safe and these student leaders are kickstarting a cultural shift that can impact the next generations.”

 

SHP’s SAVE Promise Clubs are youth-led clubs that encourage and empower student leaders to organize activities that reinforce Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs program curriculum. The clubs recognize the unique role that young people can have in making their school and communities safer and provides them with the tools to create a culture of looking out for one another, being “upstanders,” and preventing violence before it happens.

 

To date, more than 7.5 million people nationwide 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 programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, as well as countless teen suicides and other acts of violence.

 

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut and 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 it can happen by educating and mobilizing youth and adults to identify, intervene, and get help for at-risk individuals. 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.

 

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Media Contact:

Dini von Mueffling Communications | Stephanie Morris stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005

In Honor of Gun Violence Prevention Day, Sandy Hook Promise Provides Tips on How to Curb Gun Violence in Schools and Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

In Honor of #WearOrange Gun Violence Prevention Day, Sandy Hook Promise Provides Tips on 

How to Curb Gun Violence in Schools and Community 

 

Newtown, CT -- June 7, 2019 -- Gun violence is preventable when we know the signs and on this #WearOrange Weekend during Gun Violence Awareness month, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) encourages everyone to be an “upstander” in stopping gun violence in schools and communities.  

 

Four out of five school shooters and 70 percent of people who complete suicide told someone of their plans or gave some type of warning that was overlooked or ignored. SHP teaches youth and adults how to spot the signs of someone in crisis and intervene before that person harms themselves or others. With students being the eyes and ears of their school community, they often see and hear things that adults might miss, especially on social media. It is imperative that we train youth to be “upstanders,” so they know the signs of potential violence and/or self-harm and tell a trusted adult before violence occurs. 

 

Below are a few warning signs and signals that someone in crisis might exhibit. It is important to remember that one sign on its own doesn’t mean a person is planning an act of violence, but when many connected or cumulative signs are observed over a period of time, it could mean that the person is heading down a pathway towards violence or self-harm.  

  • Excessive study of firearms and mass shootings 
  • Low commitment or aspirations toward school, or a sudden change in academic performance 
  • Chronic social isolation or a sudden increase in withdrawing from other people and activities  
  • Unsupervised, illegal, and/or easy access to firearms, or bragging about access to firearms  
  • Making overt threats of violence (spoken, written, pictures, videos, gestures)  
  • Being overly aggressive and/or lacking self-control  

 

No one is immune to gun violence, as proven by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators. The Know the Signs prevention programs since developed and implemented by SHP are proving effective in making schools and communities safer.   

 

To date, SHP has trained over 7.5 million youth and adults in 14,000+ schools and youth organizations in all 50 states. These programs have averted multiple school shootings, suicides, and gun threats; reduced bullying and cyberbullying; intervened on cutting, substance use, hate crimes, and other forms of violence and self-harm; and helped hundreds of youth get the mental health assistance they need. 

 

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 can 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. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org. 

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Media Contact:  

Dini von Mueffling Communications | Stephanie Morris 

stephanie@dvmcpr.com | 646-650-5005 

Local Gun Violence Prevention Organizations Come Together for the Newtown #WearOrange Walk & Rally

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

Local Gun Violence Prevention Organizations Come Together for the  

Newtown #WearOrange Walk & Rally   

 

Sandy Hook Promise, CT Against Gun Violence, CT Teens Against Gun Violence,  

Jr. Newtown Action Alliance, the CT Chapter of Moms Demand Action,  

Mothers United Against Violence, and the Newtown Action Alliance  

Turned Newtown Orange to End Gun Violence  

 

 

June 3, 2019 -- Newtown, CT -- Yesterday, the Connecticut coalition of gun violence prevention organizations came together to say, “not one more!” and raise awareness of the public health crisis of gun violence in America. The event officially kicked off the start of National Gun Violence Awareness Month.  

 

The rally and march began with remarks from Newtown Selectman Dan Rosenthal, issuing a proclamation that declared June 2 as the fifth annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day and encouraging all citizens to #WearOrange “to honor all lives cut short by gun violence.”  

 

Senator Richard Blumenthal then thanked the youth voices leading the movement to make America safer. “No neighborhood, no community is immune from gun violence. We're building a movement that we know in Connecticut has results. And for anybody who says that these laws have no effect, just come to Connecticut. We’ve reduced the number of homicides, reduced the number of gun deaths, because we have... laws that are just plain common sense. But our state borders are porous. We need national solutions. And we should be demanding them from Congress.” 

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