Indian Lake High School students are urged to “Say Something” if and when they see a warning sign of violence.
Sandy Hook Promise Regional Presenter Andrea Plant spoke to the entire ILHS student body during a Students Against Destructive Decisions Red Ribbon Week assembly. She says family members of the 26 children and adults who died in the 2012 mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut don’t want anyone else to experience a similar loss. So they came up with the Sandy Hook Promise to show others that they have the power to prevent tragedies by simply speaking up.
“It has everything to do with taking notice…You don’t have to take care of the issue—you just have to say something,” Plant told the students.
Plant explained that many people who commit acts of violence against themselves or others often text, make threats or post their plans on social media prior to the event. And many times after a tragedy people come forward to say they did not heed a warning sign.
Plant presented a simple 3-step action plan:
Look for warning signs, signals and threats.
Take the threat seriously and act immediately.
Say something to a trusted adult.
She also offered a list of warning signs that someone may be planning harm to themselves or others such as withdrawing from friends and family, giving away possessions, dramatic changes in appearance or beliefs, a fascination with weapons or even bragging about an upcoming attack.
“You see things that we, as adults, don’t,” Plant told the room full of young people.
Plant advised that saying something to a trusted adult because of true concern is different from “telling on someone” just to get them in trouble.
At the end of the assembly, Plant asked students to take out their cell phones and take a picture of the final slide in her presentation that details how to have a conversation concerning someone they are worried about.
The Sandy Hook Promise is not just about violent and suicide prevention. Plant says the same action plan can be used to help someone you suspect may have a substance abuse problem, an eating disorder, is experiencing violence at home or in a relationship or any other serious issue.
Submitted by the Indian Lake school district.