Written by Nancy Lee, as part of her Social Marketing Sightings theme.
Sighted on: Sandy Hook Organization Official Website
Social Issue: Mass Shootings
Social Marketing Strategy: Product to Help
On May 23, 2022, the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, took the lives of 19 children and 2 teachers. It left many with thoughts and desires to know what should be done to prevent this from happening again. One option would be to explore existing and prior programs developed to address mass school shootings.
Sandy Hook Promise is a national nonprofit organization founded and currently led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. With the purpose to reduce mass school shootings, this program focuses on influencing reporting of possible threats of violence; in their words, “Say Something.”
Historic data indicates that “in 4 out of 5 school shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the attacker’s plan but failed to report it”
The Say Something program seeks to influence middle and high school students to recognize the warning signs of someone at-risk of hurting themselves or others, and to seek appropriate help. Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs program provides curriculums that instruct youth in grades 4-12, as well as adults, on how to “Recognize the Signs” and then “Say Something” to get help. The program includes the option to chat anonymously with a crisis counselor.
One tool available to select districts and state-wide partnerships is an anonymous reporting system for youth using a downloadable mobile app branded Say Something. After information is provided, a crisis counselor reviews and then replies to the tip with a private chat message and then chats anonymously with the youth, providing answers to any follow-up questions.
The Sandy Hook Promise website, in 2021, reported that from its beginning in 2013:
- 82,000+ tips were anonymously reported.
- 60+ acts of violence with a weapon prevented.
- 8 planned school shootings were prevented.
- 296 confirmed lives saved with crisis interventions.