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Sandy Hook parents help California put a STOP to school violence

Sandy Hook parents help California put a STOP to school violence

Sandy Hook Promise partners with Calif. Dept. of Ed to provide free school safety and mental health crisis trainings

@TheSunGazette

SACRAMENTO — Family and friends of those killed in the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history will spend the next three years helping prevent school shootings in the nation’s most populated state.

Last month, the California Department of Education announced it will be partnering with Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a national nonprofit led by family members who lost loved ones in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, to provide free school safety and mental health trainings to middle and high schools throughout the state.

“Students are returning to the classroom this month and should feel safe stepping onto a school campus,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said in an Aug. 23 statement. “These trainings will provide administrators, teachers, students, and the entire school community with violence prevention strategies that could stop a school shooting before it takes place and intervention tools to identify and respond to students who are dealing with a mental health crisis. Schools should be a place where students learn, not a place that students fear.”

The free trainings are being offered through the Project Cal-STOP training initiative, a three-year, $1 million grant funded under the federal STOP (Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing) School Violence Act.

State Superintendent Thurmond and California Department of Education (CDE) staff, participated via video conference in a live seminar hosted by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. During the seminar, SHP California Region Manager Ilana Israel Samuels said that through a devastating tragedy, SHP has been able to transform schools and communities throughout the country.

The Project Cal-STOP trainings will consist of two parts: School violence prevention training modules, part of the Know the Signs programs in partnership with SHP, for staff and students; Expansion of current CDE Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training workshops for district and support staff to better assist students dealing with mental health issues.

Participation in the trainings is voluntary and available to nearly 200 LEAs throughout the state on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to limited resources, Project Cal-STOP may not be able to accommodate all training requests.

For more information about the SHP trainings, visit SandyHookPromise.org. For information about YMHFA, visit the Project Cal-Well web page at www.cde.ca.gov.

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