by Elizabeth Berenguer
The Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit whose mission is to prevent violence, specifically gun-related deaths. The leaders of the organization host campaigns such as “Start with Hello” and their “Say Something Week”. Their mission is to prevent violence before it happens, so that tragedies like what occurred on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School do not repeat themselves.
The week of September 19, 2016, Miami-Dade County Public Schools participated in the Sandy Hook Promise’s “Start With Hello” initiative. Throughout the week, schools encouraged students to approach their fellow peers, especially the ones they wouldn’t normally talk to, by just starting with just a simple “hello”. One of the days, students district-wide dressed in green and supported silicone wristbands in support of the Sandy Promise. They spread the message using the hashtag #miamistartswithhello to remind others to do the same.
Schools benefit from campaigns like these because they spread awareness. More importantly, it brought attention to the fact that school violence is a real problem and one that we must try to combat.