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How to Participate in Say Something Week to Educate About and Prevent Violent Behavior

How to Participate in Say Something Week to Educate About and Prevent Against Violent Behavior

This October 24–28, 2016, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is sponsoring Say Something Week, a week dedicated to teaching school staffs and students about how to prevent gun violence before it happens by being able to identify the warning signs—and then saying something about them.

For those unfamiliar, SHP is "a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012," says the organization's website. 

For no cost to the school, SHP offers four different “Know the Signs” programs that focus on helping schools integrate violence-prevention into their school culture "to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late.”

Additionally, SHP focuses on advocating for sensible policy when it comes to violence prevention, mental health and wellness identification and more.

Hundreds of middle schools, high schools and youth organizations around the country will be participating in Say Something Week this month by downloading a free 45-minute presentation, accompanying activities and resource guides.

Easy-to-implement, the presentation is designed to be administered in either a classroom or an assembly and focuses on "the power young people have to prevent tragedies and save lives when they Say Something to a trusted adult.”

For a school or organization interested in getting started, SHP has designed a planning guide that includes specific steps and accompanying events and promotion ideas to make the most out of Say Something Week participation.

Following free registration, schools will have full access to:

  • downloadable educator and student resource guides
  •  a powerpoint presentation
  •  a promotional video
  •  a sustainability checklist and calendar
  • a free display poster

The 23-page planning guide includes dozens of ideas for how schools can spur student spirit and creativity to get the most out of participation, including modern ideas like “Selfie Stations” that encourage students to share themselves taking the pledge. Other ideas include sharing student art to encompass the importance of saying something, organizing student-led social media campaigns and more.

The guide also includes ideas for involving the community through utilizing local press, reaching out to community leaders and so on.

For schools interested in committing the entire week to the cause, SHP even includes a week template within the planning guide that gives activity ideas for each day of the week.

On Monday, October 24, for example, schools are encouraged to make announcements, start presentations and begin social media campaigns to kick-off the week. By Friday, the template encourages schools to end the week strong by organizing a “Wear Green” Day and finalize plans for how they will "carry Say Something forward,” possibly by sketching "out a calendar that could include small, yet meaningful Say Something activities on a monthly or quarterly basis.”

The resource guide comes complete with recommended social media posts, a press release to send to local media, and a letter to send home to students’ parents and caregivers to get everyone involved.

For school leaders interested in hearing how other schools got involved, the planning guide includes a series of success stories from schools all over the country who have participated in preceding Say Something weeks to show how implementation works.

So far, SHP has reached over 1 million individuals in efforts to curb gun violence in schools in just 20 months of operation.

Aside from its free online resources available to all schools, SHP is also working with individual school districts to roll out its prevention programs. Specifically, SHP is working with all of the Miami-Dade County public schools and will be working with six other school districts including Los Angeles Unified School District in 2017.

To get ready to participate in Say Something week, find out how to register for free here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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