Say Something Week 2017- recognizing the warning signs
19th October 2017
This week, thousands of schools and youth organizations come together to participate in Say Something Week. Say Something Week, founded by the non-profit Sandy Hook Promise, aims to raise awareness and educate students, school staff and the community about the warning signs from a peer who might be planning to hurt themselves or others. Say Something Week empowers young people to prevent tragedies like the devastating events such as Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech.
who are Sandy Hook Promise?
Led by family members who tragically lost loved ones during the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) focus their efforts on preventing gun violence by educating both youth and adults on the importance of mental health, while providing programs that intervene with at-risk people before any issues escalate.
why is it important to recongnize the warning signs?
Since 2013, there have been over 200 school shootings in the US, averaging at nearly one per week.
“These acts are preventable when you know the signs. Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives.”
Whether it be suicide or acts of violence against others, in 80% of cases at least one other person was aware of the threat before the incident took place. With this in mind, the heart-breaking tragedies that have unfolded in recent years may have been averted. If these people were able to understand the severity of what they were being told, were equipped to identify the warning signs and felt safe to voice concerns, then school staff, parents and other services may have been able to intervene.
what are the warning signs?
Although one warning sign may not always indicate that a person is planning an act of violence, building up a picture of cumulative signs might signify that a person may be on the path of self-harm or violence against others – but what are the warning signs? Sandy Hook Promise provide the most significant signs to look out for.
- A strong fascination or obsession with firearms
- Excessive study of firearms and mass shootings
- Extreme over-reactions or aggressive behaviour
- Gestures of violence and low commitment towards school
- Sudden changes in academic performance
- History of self-harm, violence towards others or long-term bullying
- Feelings of isolation or social withdrawal
- Unsupervised, illegal or easy access to firearms (bragging about access to firearms)
- Threats of violence (spoken, written, pictures, videos, gestures)
- History of mental illness
how can we get involved in Say Something Week?
The Say Something Week initiative teaches students, grades 6-12, how to look for warning signs, signals and threats, especially on social media, from a peer who might be planning to hurt themselves or someone else. It also empowers young people to say something to a trusted adult to get help and save a life. Once registered, you will have access to a plethora of resources to promote a safe, trusting culture within your school. You can promote this within your school by:
- Showing the Say Something PowerPoint Presentation and Video in class or in an assembly
- Display Say Something posters around the school
- Encourage individual or small group reflection activities (this could be a poem, video, essay)
- Use the Say Something digital platform to discuss the warning signs and ways in which students can report concerns
- Organize a “Wear Green Day” (Sandy Hook Promise color) during Say Something Week to promote awareness
- Promote SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Clubs to promote the cause all-year-round
You can download the full Sandy Hook Promise planning guide for Say Something Week here.
what are SAVE promise clubs?
Promoting leadership, creativity and passion for protecting their peers and communities from violence, SAVE promise clubs introduce a powerful approach to preventing gun violence.
A student-led initiative, the SAVE promise clubs meet once or twice a month to arrange activities and promotional events throughout the year. These clubs can be stand-alone, or can be embedded into an existing club, such as your school’s student council. By getting their peers, teachers and communities involved, students are actively promoting a safer learning culture and environment. You can find out how to get involved here.
how can Impero Education Pro help to detect early warning signs?
Through state-of-the-art technology, Impero Education Pro helps schools around the globe to detect key safeguarding issues. Developed in partnership with expert organziations and charities, Impero Education Pro’s internet safety functionality monitors, captures and logs key words, phrases, acronyms and abbreviations that have been typed or viewed anywhere on the school network, including captions, online content, URLs, applications and written words.
Supporting Sandy Hook Promises’ mission, Impero’s Weapons & Violence, Self-Harm and Suicide keyword libraries support school staff in identifying any potential warning signs amongst their students, empowering them to discuss any concerns and to provide a counter-narrative before the issues escalate.
Additionally, Impero Education Pro’s anonymous reporting tool, Confide, allows for students to ‘say something’ about any concerns they have either about themselves or their peers, to a chosen member of school staff.
To find out more about how Impero Education Pro can help your school to identify early warning signs, click here to book a demo.