Page 162 - Security Today, July/August 2018
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Sandy Hook Promise has developed several no-cost solutions to preventing violence on your campus BNy Nicole Hockley
otebooks? Check. Pens? Check. Action plan for your child to avoid a school shooting?
With back-to-school upon us, we all know how important it is to ensure students are prepped with the essentials. However, with the rise of school shootings happening in cities and towns across the country, we must also prepare our kids with empathy, awareness, action plans, and the overall knowledge of what to do in the event they come across someone exhibiting at-risk
behaviors—these actions can be life-saving. In the first six months of 2018, the United States witnessed over 20 school shootings across the country, including the devastating mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and Santa Fe
High School in Santa Fe, Texas.
In each of these incidents, the shooter
exhibited signs that were overlooked or mis- understood, such as social isolation, bullying, and making threats or sharing photos of weapons online. In Parkland, we heard stu- dents say that they weren’t surprised that the shooter carried out the attack due to his behavior. In Santa Fe, one student mentioned that with school shootings frequently hap- pening across the country, she “felt like even- tually it was going to happen here, too.”
It is imperative that we teach students how to be aware of those around them and to be on alert for any signs that something might be amiss. Students know their school communi- ty better than anyone, as they often see and hear things that adults might overlook—espe- cially on social media.
At Sandy Hook Promise, we train students and adults through our “Say Something” pro- gram on how to properly identify, intervene, and get help for individuals exhibiting signs of violence before they hurt themselves or others. On average, 80 percent of school shooters tell someone about their violent plans prior to carrying out the act and 70 per- cent of people who complete suicide told someone about their plans or gave some type of warning or indication.
If a student comes in contact with a friend
who says they feel sad and thinks they would be better off dead, that student needs to know they should tell trusted adult who will help them and the at-risk person. If a student comes across a schoolmate who is sharing photos of a gun or weapon on social media, they need to know that they can tell a trusted adult.
If a student sees something and wants to
report a tip anonymously, Sandy Hook Prom- ise created a solution called the Say Some- thing Anonymous Reporting System (SS- ARS). This anonymous reporting system allows students to report a tip 24/7 via the app, website, or phone hotline. The SS-ARS platform is managed and maintained by a national digital leader in the school safety

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