Sandy Hook Promise Programs Provide Solutions to New Secret Service Guide Recommendations to Prevent School Violence
July 13th, 2018 – Yesterday the Secret Service released a guide for preventing school violence based on data compiled over the last 20 years by the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center. Key findings from the report include recommendations for trained threat assessment teams, training students and staff to report on concerning behaviors, and to have a system in place where reports can be sent anonymously. They also highlighted the “importance of creating safe school climates in which students are empowered to share their concerns.” All of these recommendations are critical to preventing violence in schools.
Sandy Hook Promise has already been hard at work for the last few years delivering solutions exactly like the ones recommended in this new report, and are already seeing increasing numbers of interventions as a result.
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) offers evidence-based solutions with our Know the Signs programs to schools AT NO COST to prevent gun violence in their schools. SHP has trained over 3.5 million students and adults in these programs, helping to prevent many acts of violence and self-harm. Our programs help to foster a safer school climate where youth and adults are trained and empowered to identify, intervene, and get help for individuals before they hurt themselves or others.
“We are happy to see more evidence from this new Secret Service guide that recommend the actions we’ve already built into our Know the Signs programs,” said Nicole Hockley, Managing Director at Sandy Hook Promise, and mom to Dylan, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. “With these new recommendations, we hope that more schools will take action to bring in our no-cost programs so that we can achieve even greater impact in preventing gun violence in schools.”
The Secret Service report encourages schools to train students and staff to report concerning behaviors, and to have a system in place where reports can be sent anonymously via a website, hotline, or smartphone application that can be followed up on in real-time. After the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, Sandy Hook Promise launched this exact type of system: our Say Something Anonymous Reporting System. It was launched nationally, and school districts in Texas, Connecticut, and Minnesota have already begun implementing the system. This program trains students to recognize warning signs, especially in social media, of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others, and to Say Something via our Anonymous Reporting System phone app, website, or hotline. Over 100 school districts across 17 other states are preparing to implement the Say Something
Anonymous Reporting System over the next few months. Schools already using this system have seen multiple interventions and are creating a safer environment for their students.
Another key finding from the Secret Service report is that ensuring a school has a trained threat assessment team in place to assess threats in advance, rather than assess them in the midst a crisis, is critical to preventing violence in schools. Sandy Hook Promise partnered with threat assessment expert Dr. Dewey Cornell of the University of Virginia to bring our threat assessment training, Safety Assessment and Intervention, to schools around the country at no cost. This program trains schools and community organizations how to identify, assess and respond to threatening behaviors before they escalate to violence.
Sandy Hook Promise provides all of our Know the Signs Programs, including the Safety Assessment and Intervention and the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, to school districts at no cost. To bring these programs to your school, visit sandyhookpromise.org.
About Sandy Hook Promise:
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. We are led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators. SHP is focused on preventing gun violence (and other forms of violence and victimization) BEFORE it happens by educating and mobilizing youth and adults on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible non-policy and policy solutions that protect children and prevent gun violence. Our intent is 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