Unique student-driven program to leverage the power of today’s youth to address school safety
NEWTOWN, Conn. – Sept. 13, 2017 – Safe and Sound Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering communities to improve school safety, is launching the Safe and Sound Youth Council. This chapter-based, student leadership group harnesses the power of today’s teens in tackling the broad and difficult challenge of securing our nation’s schools.
Students in the Safe and Sound Youth Council will lend their creativity, leadership, and critical thinking to improve school safety through in-school and community service projects. By providing their unique perspectives through collaboration and sharing of ideas, students will develop real-world skills, foster life-long safety skills, and grow a nation of leaders and advocates for a safer tomorrow. In addition, they will be working with administrators and teachers, who will provide oversight and an important link to the broader community.
“Traditionally, students have been excluded from the safety conversation.” said Michele Gay, co-founder and executive director of Safe and Sound Schools. “This is a missed opportunity because the students are walking their halls, seeing the ins and outs of their buildings, and have the network to bring about real change. The goal of the Safe and Sound Youth Council is to give students a seat at the table and bring them into the national conversation so that they can make a difference.”
“It’s not enough for me to be told that there’s a plan,” said Olivia G., a high-school student in Maryland. “I want to know it and be a part of it.”
The Need For Student-Driven School Safety Programs
The changing landscape of safety in American schools presents challenges never-before-faced in our schools.Today’s schools face a wide array of serious safety issues such as crime, drug abuse, mental health, violence, human trafficking, gang activity, workplace violence, suicide, and cyber-safety issues, on top of longstanding safety issues like weather, fire safety, and natural disasters. Protecting the safety of school communities is far too great of a responsibility to rest on the shoulders of administrators or police alone, as in past times.
Safe and Sound Schools advocates for a collaborative approach to school safety and believes this is the most impactful way to change the safety of America’s school communities. Although school safety is often a collaborative effort between safety experts and administrators, students are continually under utilized. Today’s school safety landscape requires cross collaboration. Students can play a powerful role in the safety of their communities. The Safe and Sound Youth Council harnesses the power of the student voice, setting itself apart from other traditional safety programs.
The Safe and Sound Student Council is available to every high school in America, free of charge, and will provide students with critical preparedness and safety education and leadership skills. Those interested in starting a Safe and Sound Youth Council chapter can download the program guide by visiting the Safe and Sound Schools website.
About Safe and Sound Schools
Safe and Sound Schools is a non-profit organization founded by Sandy Hook parents who lost their children during the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. Winner of the 2015 SBANE New England Innovation Award for nonprofits, Safe and Sound Schools is dedicated to empowering communities to improve school safety through discussion, collaboration, planning, and sharing of information, tools, and resources. To get involved, visit www.safeandsoundschools.org.
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