Gun violence has been at the top of the news for weeks, in response to the murders of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida. To try to peacefully combat gun violence Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is launching the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) into schools across the country, including accelerated rollout in four of the most at-risk states.
The campaign will be amplified by a national public service ad titled ‘The Other Side,’ produced by BBDO New York, that will also air on all major broadcast and cable networks and digital platforms today (March 22).
In the chilling spot, a teen boy is in his bedroom, talking about how people think a school shooting “can never happen here…but those same people are the ones who saw the signs and never said anything.” He talks about the telltale signs – being bullied, obsessions with guns, and posting on social media about shooting up the school. As the camera pans back, we see the boy has an arsenal of weapons on his bed. He locks and loads a magazine into his assault rifle and states, “I’m sure tomorrow somebody will wish they had said something,” as he hoists his gun.
The video ends with a picture of the Say Something app on a mobile phone with the tag, “Learn the signs. Say something.”
SS-ARS allows students to submit secure and anonymous safety concerns to help identify and intervene upon at-risk individuals before they hurt themselves or others. Concerned students submit a tip using the SS-ARS app or website and/or call the 24/7 crisis center, which then triages the tip and dispositions it back into a participating school districts and, as needed, to law enforcement.
“The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System is the most comprehensive violence prevention program available to schools today,” said Nicole Hockley, managing director at Sandy Hook Promise and mother to Dylan, killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “Now not only will schools be trained to know the signs of potential violence, they can also take action to submit a tip anonymously and be sure it is case managed by schools and local law enforcement. From bullying to substance abuse, to suicide and school shooting threats, schools and communities can take tangible action to prevent violence before it occurs. And, it costs the school district nothing to bring in SS-ARS.”
The organization said it has been reported that 80% of school shooters and 70% of individuals who completed suicides told someone of their violent plans prior to taking action – yet no interventions were made. Sandy Hook Promise has been working to solve this problem for the past three years through its four ‘Known the Signs’ evidenced-based programs. To date, SHP has trained more than three million students, teachers, and law enforcement officials in all 50 states. As a result, SHP has helped intervene on multiple threats – including school shooting plots, suicides, and other threats of violence, as well as helping to reduce bullying and get hundreds of individual’s mental health assistance.
SHP will initially focus ‘Say Something’ on the top 25 states that drive 80% of firearm deaths and violent crimes. To accelerate the launch, the PepsiCo Foundation is underwriting the rollout of SS-ARS in four of the country’s most at-risk states for gun violence – this support will help reach up to 200,000 youth and the organization hopes it will lead to approximately 20,000 interventions annually.