FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sandy Hook Promise Statement on Recommendations Report by Federal School Safety Commission
Newtown, CT – December 18, 2018 – Today, the Federal Commission on School Safety released a report detailing recommendations for improving the safety of schools in the United States. Research included nationwide forums with students, educators, law enforcement officers, and mental health professionals, among others -- including several Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club students and Promise Leaders within the Sandy Hook Promise network of violence prevention advocates and educators.
The report spans from prevention to protection and mitigation, as well as response and recovery. Many of the preventative measures recommended within the report -- such as creating a school culture of inclusion, monitoring social media as a source for threats, implementing anonymous reporting systems paired with training for students and educators, and establishing multidisciplinary threat assessment teams in schools -- support the value and need for the Know the Signs prevention programs exclusively offered by Sandy Hook Promise, including the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, Safety Assessment and Intervention, Say Something, and Start With Hello.
To further advance prevention efforts, Sandy Hook Promise has also called on Congress and the White House to support the passage of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). The Commission’s report highlighted the effectiveness of these laws in saving lives when someone is at risk of hurting themselves or others and called for the passage of these laws in all states.
While the report correctly identifies the need for violence prevention training and improved access to mental health professionals in our schools, it does not make the necessary recommendations for federal resources and investment to ensure these programs are available to all students, regardless of ability to pay. The report also puts forward disconcerting guidance for schools and districts to add more firearms to schools and on school grounds.
“We know that school violence is preventable, and the Commission’s report correctly points to the need for all students to have access to the training and resources to Know the Signs of potential violence and also have access to help,” said Mark Barden. “While we agree with several of the recommendations, we are deeply concerned with the Department’s continued support for putting more firearms in our schools. We believe that teachers and school administrators should be focused on education, not weapons training. Much more bipartisan work and leadership is needed from this White House and the new Congress to save lives and protect our children.”
To date, more than 5.5 million people 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 signature programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, several 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 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. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.
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