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Pinellas schools use national violence prevention program to keep schools safe

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Dec 14, 2021

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Tuesday marks nine years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Since that day the families of those killed founded a nationwide violence prevention program with the goal of making schools safer.

The Sandy Hook Promise Program has been implemented in Pinellas County Schools since 2018. There are various components to the program including the say something anonymous reporting system.

District leaders say students are using the tool to not only keep their community safe but other areas as well.

“We’ve had kids see something on social media that might not have been in our community and we’ve had kids report it. Where our local law enforcement has gotten in touch with other law enforcement in other states and they have helped students, they have helped a situation or have stopped somebody who could have potentially helped themselves or others,” says Lisa DePaolo, the managing officer of prevention for Pinellas County Schools.

Hollins High School senior VoShawn Baker says the program makes their school safer.

“I want people to be more helpful, more able to lend out a hand to each other instead of fighting each other,” he said.

VoShawn along with several of his classmates were recognized by Sandy Hook Promise for using their voices to make their school a more inclusive environment.