The 2020 Say Something Essay Contest Winners
About the Sandy Hook Promise Initiative
In December of 2017, then Sheriff-Elect, Errol Toulon attended a gala in New York City for the Sandy Hook Promise Organization. There he met with Mark Barden, one of the founders of Sandy Hook Promise and the father of Daniel, one of the young children killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sheriff Toulon was so moved by this organization, who, out of something tragic, built a school safety program which empowers students, teachers, and the community to make sure this tragedy doesn't happen again. Upon taking office in January 2018, his first priority was to partner with Sandy Hook Promise to bring this presentation to all Suffolk County Schools.
Say Something, geared for students grades 6-12, is an education and awareness program that teaches students the recognizable signs and signals of a potential threat, especially over social media and teaches them how to Say Something to a trusted adult.
Over the last 25 years, research has revealed that in 7 out of 10 acts of gun violence, a classmate or friend was told that an act of violence would be committed or may take place. In one study, it was reported that in 4 out of 5 school shootings, the attacker had told people of his plans ahead of time.
Know the Signs
People who are at-risk of hurting themselves or others often show signs and signals before an act of violence takes place. When you don’t know what to look for, it can be easy to miss signs, or dismiss them as unimportant, sometimes with tragic consequences.
It’s important to know that one warning sign on its own does not mean a person is planning an act of violence. But when many connected or cumulative signs are observed over a period of time, it could mean that the person is heading down a pathway towards violence or self-harm. By knowing the signs, you have the power to intervene and get help for that person. Your actions can save lives.
Say Something informs and educates about observable warning signs (written, spoken, photographed, in video) that are often present in behavior that could lead to someone hurting themselves or others as well as educates individuals on how to safely and anonymously report potential threats. Additionally, the program provides tools on how best to promote and reinforce Say Something.
Request a Presentation
The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office has 8 officers specially trained to present this presentation. They are available to meet with school faculty prior to showing the presentation to students to answer any questions. They meet with students grades 6-12 to show the presentation, talk about the signs and signals given off by someone who may be a potential threat, and how to have a conversation with a trusted adult. Since partnering with Sandy Hook Promise in September of 2018, our officers have trained more than 25000 Suffolk County students, school faculty, and parents.
Use the Request Form to have the program offered at your school.