SAVE Promise Club aims to prevent violence in schools

Say Something Week urges students to use their voices


Poster made by SAVE Promise Club to promote Say Something Week. Raises awareness for student safety (Pohl/LION)

Reagan Pohl, Reporter

On Dec. 14, 2012, a disturbed gunman stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School located in Newtown, Conn., armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and two semi-automatic pistols. In less than five minutes, 154 rounds were fired claiming 26 lives. Twenty innocent kindergarteners were among the victims. Unfortunately, this incomprehensible tragedy has occurred in many schools across our country. The horrific events in Newtown were the catalyst for the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a national nonprofit organization, founded by the mothers and fathers who lost their precious children. The organization aims to prevent gun violence in schools by educating school communities on mental health issues so they can recognize, respond, and support individuals at risk. 

LT has taken many precautions and supported numerous initiatives to prevent school violence. The Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club, a student-run club associated with the SHP, is one of those byproducts, club co-sponsor Pat Callahan said. The club’s goal is to empower students to “know the signs” and to speak out if necessary. 

On the week of March 13, the club held its annual Say Something Week, a youth violence protection program developed by the SHP, in order to facilitate heightened awareness as a preventative measure against gun violence in schools. 

“Given the number of school shootings, we need to be able to watch out for each other,” Callahan said. “It’s only when we actively watch out for each other that we can recognize the warning signs of someone who is at risk of injuring themselves or others and contact a trusted adult for help.” 

Say Something Week allows students to strengthen their social-emotional learning capabilities. It provides students with the opportunity to understand how to empathize with others, analyze problems, and adopt responsible decision-making skills, Callahan said. The Say Something Week program equips teachers, students, and parents with essential training and resources to put an end to the ongoing surge of gun violence present in schools across the country. 

This year the club has designed posters to be hung outside every classroom with the SHP pledge. The message of this pledge is intended to demonstrate the importance of speaking up to prevent school violence before it happens and to communicate the dire need for change, club co-sponsor Luke Jansen said. The club also plans on passing out stickers to students and staff throughout the week with the Say Something logo. Their mission is to make sure everyone at LT feels safe and has a sense of belonging in our school’s community.

“SAVE helps prevent violence by promoting community,” executive board member Emily McKenna ‘23. “When students feel connected and welcomed at school they are less likely to hurt themselves or others, so our biggest goal is to improve togetherness and empathy among students.” 

The club meets every few weeks on Monday, Jansen said. During these meetings, the club works to organize events and volunteer opportunities that allow them to further express the values aligned with the SHP. Everyone is welcome to attend and join their movement for change. 

 “Gun violence is commonplace in our country, so much so, that many people, whether willingly or not, have become numb to it. When we become desensitized to violence, we grow apathetic which is dangerous,” McKenna said. “Recognizing the problem and taking action is the first step to fighting passivity and making our schools safer.”