Know the Signs to Help End School Shootings

According to Education Week, as reported by NPR, there have been 27 school shootings with injuries or deaths so far this year and 34 in 2021.

After the tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, many of us find ourselves, once again, asking how can these horrendous acts can be prevented.

In “Know The Signs: You Can Prevent Gun Violence And Other Harmful Acts,” Sandy Hook Promise shares, “People who hurt themselves or others often show warning signs before they carry out an act of violence . . . missing the signs can have tragic consequences. Notably, in 4 out of 5 school shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the attacker’s plan but failed to report it.”

Sandy Hook Promise’s 9 Critical Warning Signs of Violence

1. Suddenly withdrawing from friends, family, and activities (including online or via social media)

2. Bullying, especially if targeted towards differences in race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation 

3. Excessive irritability, lack of patience, or becoming angry quickly

4. Experiencing chronic loneliness or social isolation 

5. Expressing persistent thoughts of harming themselves or someone else

6. Making direct threats toward a place, another person, or themselves

7. Bragging about access to guns or weapons

8. Recruiting accomplices or audiences for an attack 

9. Directly expressing a threat as a plan 

The list includes potential warning signs that can signal an individual may be in crisis or need help. It is not “a complete list of all warning signs. Exhibiting one of these signs doesn’t necessarily indicate imminent violence. When concerned about troubling behaviors, tell a trusted adult or call 911 if there is an immediate threat.”

Sandy Hook Promise is a national nonprofit organization founded and led by family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. They empower youth by teaching them the signs to help prevent gun violence. Its mission is to “end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence.”