A way to stop school shootings

To the editor:

It’s taken me a while to write this letter. Until now, the pain of the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14 has been too intense for me. Another 17 lives lost to a mass shooting at a school. But we are not helpless to stop it. We can do more.

There are steps we can take locally to increase our capacity as communities to protect and care for one another. Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit organization whose mission is to stop gun violence (and all other forms of violence) before it happens through free, easy to implement programs that could save lives.

One such program is Say Something, which teaches students to recognize the signs, signals, and threats (especially in social media) from peers who might be planning to hurt themselves or others and to say something to a trusted adult to get help. In 4 out of 5 school shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the attacker’s plan, but failed to report it. We know this happened in Parkland.

If you are a superintendent, principal, teacher or parent in one of our local school communities and would like more information about bringing a program to your school, please contact me at sl_gatti@yahoo.com. As a Sandy Hook Promise leader, I can connect you with the information and resources to get started.

One often feels helpless to bring about change in the face of these tragedies. But let us each take one small step toward a solution. Let us never say we wish we had done more.

Sarah Brown