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Powerful PSA Encourages School Communities to See Something, Say Something to Prevent Violence

Connecticut-based non-profit Sandy Hook Promise has released a short video that powerfully emphasizes its mission of inspiring a “see something, say something” culture in schools to prevent violence.

The video, titled simply “Evan,” shows how easy it is to miss signs of brewing violence when getting caught up in the on-goings of daily life. The video focuses on high school student Evan who is sweetly passing messages back and forth to an unknown peer on a library desk. While the video is showing Evan’s story, another peer is subtly showing signs of trouble in the background.

In the end, Evan’s happy ending of finally meeting his anonymous crush in the gymnasium is cut short by that same troubled peer who enters the room with a weapon and sends the student body scrambling in panic.

"While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting. But no one noticed," the video’s ending message reads.

Released on December 2, the powerful video already has over 5 million views and has successfully drawn national attention to Sandy Hook Promise's campaign. 

Founded by several family members of the students killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Sandy Hook Promise wants to help school communities across the country get in the habit of identifying the warning signs of violence to act before it’s too late.

In late October, the group held its annual Say Something Week in which over 1,000 schools participated in.

"Say Something Week raises awareness and educates students and the community through training, media events, advertising, public proclamations, contests and school awards. Say Something Week reinforces the power young people have to prevent tragedies and protect a friend from hurting them self or others," says Sandy Hook Promise in its Say Something Week Planning Guide.

Schools are encouraged to continue participating in violence prevention after the week ends with the help of four free programs—Say Something, Start with Hello, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Safety Assessment and Intervention—that are designed to seamlessly fit into schools’ existing curricula.

But perhaps the biggest benefit of working with Sandy Hook Promise is the acquirement of a lasting partnership determined to help schools see violence prevention through.

"We’re not a one and done organization—sustainability is incredibly important to us and we do follow-up with schools. At the moment, our effectiveness is based on those check-ins and what the schools tell us in terms of how things are going . . . we don’t want to do something that isn’t impactful," Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Nicole Hockley said in a previous interview with Education World.

In just 20 months of operation, Sandy Hook Promise has impressively trained over 1 million members and has established partnerships with Miami-Dade district schools and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

It continues working towards the goal of having its violent prevention programs in every school soon.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor



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