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National Issue

SAVE Students Act

Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund leads legislation at the state level to create widespread change for student safety nationwide. Research has proven that we can prevent school violence, shootings, and other harmful acts when we teach youth and adults how to identify at-risk behaviors and intervene to get help. We work to expand access to evidence-based training for all students.

What Are Violence Prevention Laws?

The Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund works with state officials and our dedicated volunteers to pass model school violence prevention laws. This legislation makes life-saving violence prevention training, like Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs programs, available to all students in grades K-12.

Our model legislation is also known as the Safety and Violence Education for Students Act (SAVE Students Act). It focuses on social inclusion, suicide and violence prevention, student leadership, and anonymous reporting systems.

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What Progress Has Been Made on These Bills?

We have gained traction with the Safety and Violence Education for Students Act in four states.

In Pennsylvania, Rep. Karen Boback and 10 bipartisan co-sponsors introduced legislation into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. In Massachusetts, the act was introduced by State Senator Barry Finegold and State Representative Natalie Higgins into the Massachusetts Senate and House. In both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the legislation was introduced in February of 2021 and is still active.

In Ohio, the SAVE Students Act was first passed in the State House of Representatives in 2019 after being introduced by the bipartisan effort of State Representatives Gayle Manning and Glenn Holmes. Next the bill moved to the Ohio State Senate, where it was passed in 2020. Governor Michael DeWine signed the act into law in 2021, making Ohio the first state to establish requirements for these kinds of life-saving trainings and setting a new national precedent. Louisiana passed the SAVE Students Act unanimously in 2022, becoming the second state ever to do so.

Why Pass Violence Prevention Laws?

In many incidences of youth violence, students exhibit warning signs before acting in a harmful manner. Evidence-based violence prevention programs can save lives. They teach students how to recognize the warning signs of violence and empower them to be upstanders to prevent tragedy.  

Our model school safety legislation ensures access to these programs. That’s because it extends beyond an individual school or an individual teacher’s decision to use them. It gives schools and students across the state — regardless of differences in resources or income — equal access to high-quality violence prevention programs and the benefits they offer. 

How Does the Legislation Impact Schools and Teachers?

Our legislation makes it possible for educators to bring high-quality, violence prevention training to their schools. They can access developmentally appropriate options for K-12 through digital, in-person, and train-the-trainer programs. 

The model law also ensures the state provides a list of evidence-based programs educators can choose from, including no-cost options. Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs programs meet the training standards found in the legislation.

Related Issues

National Issue

The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act makes critical funding available to school districts, states, and tribes to implement evidence-informed, early-intervention school programs to prevent violence before a weapon ever enters a school environment.