School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Take the Sandy Hook Promise

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I promise to do all I can to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities 

– The Sandy Hook Promise

December 14, 2018, marked the sixth anniversary of the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty children and six school staff were killed that morning. Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a grass-roots organization that was formed by parents in response to the unimaginable tragedy in an effort to prevent other parents from experiencing the devastation of losing a child to gun-related deaths.

SHP is focused on programmatic, community-based change and grassroots organizing.  Additionally, organizations are focused on the gun – SHP believes change will happen when we focus on mental health & wellness and gun safety.  Finally, SHP is a moderate voice that attracts and engages the sensible center.  Without this important and influential group – we will not achieve sustained change.

The Sandy Hook Promise Mission:  

Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.

The Sandy Hook Promise Approach:

1. Building A National Base by attracting, educating and engaging parents, schools and community organizations to join SHP through social media, advertising, speaking engagements, major events, and initiatives.

2. Organizing at a Community Level by identifying, training and empowering volunteer “Promise Leaders” to raise awareness, educate and deliver programs to help prevent gun violence in their community.

3. Developing and Delivering Mental Health & Wellness Programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals and gun safety practices that ensure firearms are kept safe and secure.

4. Advocating for State and Federal Policy by mobilizing and leveraging our national base and Promise Leaders for the passage of sensible mental health & wellness and gun
safety laws.

Please take the time and learn about the important school and community resources available through Sandy Hook Promise:    Say Something Resources

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Sandy Hook Promise released the following Public Service Announcement from the vantage point of a student shooter. While this is difficult to watch, the final moment is the most chilling. Listen to the words he utters, “Look at me!”, he screams, “Look at me!”

Mark Barden, one of the founders of Sandy Hook Promise, lost his son Daniel in the massacre. Most of the victims were six or seven years old, compounding the horror and senseless loss of life. In a recent article, Mark wrote:

If we are defined by our actions, then the person that shot and killed 26 innocent people in our son’s school is the incarnation of pure evil, plain and simple. Except I’m not buying it. I am convinced that what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary that cold morning was the culmination of years of bad choices, negligence, and overlooked signs, such as social isolation and a fascination with mass violence…

…What I’ve discovered is that asking who is fundamentally bad doesn’t do much good. It’s much more important to focus on what you can see, what you can prevent, and those things that empower students– the eyes and ears of their schools — to look for warning signs…

By empowering our children with simple, human-centered tools, we can teach our children and ourselves to ask a better question: How do we keep each other safe?

How do we keep each other safe? That is where research efforts may have the most impact. Safety and security are basic human needs, coming after food, water and rest, according to Psychologist, Dr. Abraham Maslow:

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Belongingness comes next in the Pyramid that Maslow introduced to the world in 1943 in his ground-breaking, and still relevant “Theory of Motivation”Social isolation and the feeling of loneliness has been an ever-growing public health concern. Could understanding student isolation and loneliness be the next frontier to promote school safety? I will continue to focus on the question posed by Daniel’s dad, Mark Barden:

By empowering our children with simple, human-centered tools, we can teach our children and ourselves to ask a better question: How do we keep each other safe?


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