October 19, 2015
AFT Connecticut, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators (CFSA) and the Connecticut State Department of Education have joined forces to show support for teaching students how to recognize and respond to potential threats of violence. The seven groups today announced their joint endorsement of the “Say Something” program, offered by Sandy Hook Promise, which teaches students in grades 6-12 how to look for warning signs, signals and threats of an individual who may be a threat to themselves or others.
“We are committed to improving safety in schools across Connecticut and commend the Sandy Hook Promise team on developing a free program that engages students to recognize and report potential threats of violence – be they in the classroom, on the sports field or on social media. Students can be key partners in helping us ensure that schools maintain safe, positive climates where young people can learn and grow without fear of violence. It is our hope that every school serving grades 6-12 in Connecticut will participate in “Say Something” Week and show their support for increasing student safety,” the seven groups said in a joint statement.
Based on research conducted by two leading national experts in threat assessment and intervention, Dr. Dewey Cornell and Dr. Reid Meloy, “Say Something” is a free program offered by Sandy Hook Promise that teaches students to how to properly identify and report threats to a trusted adult. The ultimate goal is to prevent tragedies like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 and, most recently, at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
“It is incumbent on us to do everything in our power to ensure the safety and well-being of our students while maintaining warm, welcoming learning environments where our students learn and thrive,” said State Commissioner of Education, Dianna R. Wentzell. “The “Say Something” program has the potential to support this goal by teaching strategies to help our teens recognize the signs when they or their friends might be in crisis and encourages them to tell a trusted adult who can help. We are grateful to the Sandy Hook Promise and all of our partners for making this important resource available to schools.”
During “Say Something” Week (Oct. 19-23), schools and youth organizations are encouraged to commit to bringing this vitally important training program to their students and members. Participating organizations may also be eligible to apply for a $10,000 “Say Something” award. This initiative is being led by Danbury School Systems, which is releasing a kick-off video to assist schools in what they can do and where they can go to find more ideas to support their efforts during “Say Something” Week.
"We are incredibly grateful to Danbury Public Schools for supporting “Say Something” Week and training students across Connecticut on this life-saving program," said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise. "One thing we learn in the aftermath of almost every mass shooting is that the shooter told at least one person, posted something on social media or exhibited worrying behavior - but no one intervened. “Say Something” trains students to know the signs of these behaviors and teaches them how to take action, before an individual reaches the point of self-harm or harm to others. Imagine how many tragedies can be averted by teaching teens this easy approach on how to identify and report threats."
The statistics on school violence are staggering – in four out of five school shootings the attacker told people of his or her plans before the incident took place. Related, 70% of people who die by suicide told someone of their intentions before taking their own life.
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. Sandy Hook Promise is focused on preventing gun violence (and all violence) before it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities 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. Make the Promise at http://www.sandyhookpromise.org.