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Teaching The Lessons From Sandy Hook School Shooting

A new lesson plan aims to prevent school violence like the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct.

A lesson plan to prevent school shootings will be part of the curricula in 10 states starting this month. The lessons were designed by Sandy Hook Promise, the group founded after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Mark Barden is co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise and the father of Daniel Barden, who was killed in the 2012 shooting. He said the group is working with school districts to teach the early warning signs that could lead to school shootings, like bullying or isolation.

“We train kids how to look for at-risk behavior -- language, mostly in social media, but it also could be in the lunch room or the school bus," said Barden. "To recognize that behavior and take the next step to connect that person to a trusted adult.”


The lesson plan is funded by a federal anti-school violence program signed into law in March. Ten states, including Connecticut and New York, are working directly with Sandy Hook Promise to bring the plan to public school students. 

The shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut killed 26 people, including 20 students and six members of the school staff. The shooter, Adam Lanza, also shot and killed himself.

This report comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies including Rhode Island Public Radio, joining together to tell stories of a changing region.



Sandy Hook Elementary School was torn down after the shooting. The school reopened with a brand new building in 2016.
Sandy Hook Elementary School was torn down after the shooting. The school reopened with a brand new building in 2016.
Patrick Skahill/WNPR
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A screenshot from the Sandy Hook Promise website shows part of the Know the Signs curriculum that will soon be used in schools in 10 states.
A screenshot from the Sandy Hook Promise website shows part of the Know the Signs curriculum that will soon be used in schools in 10 states.
Sandy Hook Promise