The Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is an organization with the mission to stop school shootings and create a culture that prevents violence. Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary in Indio is one of the schools leading the movement.
"I have seen growth and I've seen a change for the better," said LBJ's principal Bradley Fisher. "[Students] have to understand that bad things may happen. So if you know something, speak up. It makes them feel like they have a voice in keeping our community safe."
The school adopted the SHP "Know the Signs" violence prevention programs three years ago. The free program teaches students and adults how to identify at-risk behaviors and intervene to get help. There are teachings made for different grade levels.
SHP said in 4 out of 5 school shootings, at least one other person knew of the attacker's plan, but did not report it.
Lexi Zanovitch is a second-grade teacher at LBJ. Also, she is one of the leaders of the SHP program at the school.
"We really want to focus on social isolation, anti-bullying, and to say something if someone is in need of any help," said Zanovitch. "[The program] has really changed the dynamic and just the energy of the school, how everybody's come together as a community to watch out for one another."
The program teaches three crucial steps: look for warning signs, act immediately, and say something to a trusted adult.
Third-grader Arianna Garcia Jimenez has taken it to heart.
"I've learned not to be a bully and to speak up for others," said Garcia-Jimenez.
And third-grader Nathan Cazares knows if he sees something, he can go to an adult he trusts.
"I would go to them because they're trusted and they could act immediately and go see what happened and if people are damaged or bleeding," said Cazares.
The SHP program gives hope for a safer future by teaching students skills they can hold on to for a lifetime.
"I would say to parents, you know, again, find out what your school is doing, how can you help your school," said Fisher. "This is really a partnership between our school and the community. Volunteer get involved so everybody can have the same voice and be heard together."
Parents and teachers have the power to bring these programs into the classroom.
You can register for the free learning programs offered by the SHP on their website. It includes training videos, interactive lessons, school safety lesson plans, and a searchable digital library of resources.
LBJ was one of six schools selected for the Sandy Hook Promise "Say Something" Week Awards.
The Sandy Hook Promise, a leading youth violence prevention organization, launched the awards in tandem with Say Something Week, a national call-to-action held in March that reinforces the Say Something Program.
The awards recognize the creative ways schools and SAVE Promise Clubs celebrate "upstanders" who speak up to get help for classmates who may be in crisis and acknowledge the trusted adults who are keeping kids safe.
In March, Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School took part in Say Something Week, where they discussed how to recognize the warning signs and the threat of potential violence and the importance of telling a trusted adult.
"They embedded the lessons of Say Something within a fun, themed spirit week They held their own Student Voices Contest. Students created amazing art and incredible writing!" reads the award announcement by the Sandy Hook Promise.
To learn more about the organizations, visit: https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/