FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dini von Mueffing Communications
Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Listening Session at the White House
February 21, 2018 – Today, Sandy Hook Promise will meet with President Trump and his administration, along with other gun violence survivors, for a private listening session to explore actions we can take to make schools safer at the federal level. This meeting comes after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the other 17 school shootings that have happened in this country since January 1st.
We view this as a step forward in formulating a comprehensive response to end the growing number of school shootings and overall epidemic of gun violence in our country. A great deal needs to be done. Just yesterday, Florida lawmakers voted against taking up a bill to ban assault weapons.
"We are inspired by the incredible students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are advocating for safer schools everywhere," said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father to Daniel, killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "This is not a hopeless or helpless situation; solutions are available. We stand with the students in demanding change now, before any more communities are torn apart by preventable gun violence. We call on our elected officials to take action, and not ignore this issue any longer."
Below are things everyone can do today to help ensure that all students are safe.
Train youth to spot the signs and how to properly intervene through our Know the Signs programs:
- With these proven programs, students, educators, parents and community leaders can learn how to identity at-risk behaviors, assess threats and properly intervene before a tragedy occurs.
- 80 percent of school shooters told someone of their violent plans or exhibited warning signs.
- To date, these programs have helped avert several school shooting plots and threats, as well as teen suicides and other acts of violence.
Support Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs):
- An ERPO is state-level legislation that temporarily removes guns from a person deemed to be an imminent risk to themselves or others.
- This legislation doesn't infringe on the Second Amendment, and gun rights can be reinstated once the person exhibiting at-risk behaviors is no longer a threat.
- ERPOs are available in California, Connecticut, Oregon, and Washington and over 19 other states have introduced similar legislation.
Call your Representatives to support the STOP School Violence Act of 2018:
- This legislation invests in early intervention and prevention programs to stop school violence.
- The STOP School Violence Act invests federal funding each year to:
- Train school personnel, local law enforcement, and students to identify warning signs and intervene to stop interpersonal violence and suicide.
- Develop and implement anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence, bullying, suicide, and mental health and substance abuse issues in coordination with local law enforcement.
- Train and operate school threat assessment and intervention teams to preemptively triage threats before tragedy hits.
- Enable better coordination between schools and local law enforcement.
Talk to your legislators:
- Demand sustainable gun violence prevention methods be implemented, such as the “FIX NICS Act” that aims to increase state compliance with and improve the accuracy of existing background check systems for firearm purchases.
- Make the Promise and/or get your community and schools involved with our other Know the Signs programs:
- Join us and Make the Promise to protect children from gun violence
- Bring our Know the Signs programs to your community or school to teach students and adults how to be "upstanders" by knowing the signs and how to intervene.
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 it happens 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.