"We are dedicated to identifying real solutions that can help keep our schools and communities safe," said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "When students speak up, they can save lives. This public awareness campaign is about something real that students can do to help make their schools and communities safer."
With attackers telling other people about their intentions in advance in four out of five school shootings, a powerful, new national public service announcement, called "Signs," will creatively emphasize the importance of recognizing and reporting these very threats and other warning signs of violence. The PSAs, which will be broadcast on network and cable television stations and posted on Facebook and YouTube, will direct students to make anonymous reports about "signs of violence" by calling the hotline, 1‑866‑SPEAK‑UP. Since the hotline was established in 2002, nearly 40,000 calls have been received.
A special website, www.speakup.com, will feature a BuzzFeed style interactive super hero quiz about speaking up; stories of students who have spoken up; the TV, print and online ads; and other activities. Additionally, a SPEAK UP-themed poster contest and pledge drive are components in an action kit developed by the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), which is a founding partner in the National Prevent Youth Violence Campaign.
"Forty kids are shot or killed by guns every day in our nation. It is happening in large cities and small towns, in private homes and public places – even schools. It is clear that guns in the wrong hands is a major contributor to this violence, and this campaign provides students with important tools they can use do something about it," said Mr. Gross.
"The Brady Center's 'SPEAK UP' initiative will help empower our youth to report threats of violence in their schools and communities - helping us combat gun violence and save lives," said U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand, who helped secure funding for the PSAs. "I pledge to always be a voice for our young people, and work to make sure they are safe and have every opportunity to succeed."
Mr. Gross thanked Sen. Gillibrand and Reps. Bill Pascrell and Carolyn McCarthy, whose advocacy resulted in securing United States Department of Justice funding for this expansion of the SPEAK UP initiative.
The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to the dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries that we all seek. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow our Facebook Page and Twitter Account. The Speak Up campaign was originally created by the Center to Prevent Youth Violence, which is merging with the Brady organization.
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