Sandy Hook Promise meets with local schools

Sandy Hook Promise meets with local schools

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Parents are turning heartbreak into hope.

The father of a 7-year old who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting visited Burroughs Elementary to talk about ways to prevent another gun-related tragedy.

It is truly a labor of love for Mark Barden, carrying on his son, Daniel's memory with the message behind the "Sandy Hook Promise," preventing gun violence, and any type of violence, before it happens.

They're doing this through education.

Representatives from the Sandy Hook Promise hosted a round table discussion for area school leaders at Burroughs Elementary.

There was an update on the work the group has completed, and they're introducing new programs to area schools to prevent more gun-related tragedies before they happen.

Mark Barden spoke with the group about the loss of his 7-year-old son Daniel in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Barden described what it's been like for him as a parent to personally bring this program into schools across the country. He says the response from students has really encouraged him.

"They hold awareness days, they build clubs around it, you can see the artwork in the hallways," says Barden. "It's a message that resonates with them, and they know that they're helping their peers. And, for me that's the best thing I can do to honor my little Daniel."

The group outlined their new "Know the Signs" program. Its focus is on spotting aggressive, isolating or threatening behavior in fellow students.

Barden said he frequently visits Toledo, because the schools have been so active in implementing their Know the Signs programs.

Among them, "say hello," and "say something," teaching kids to tell someone when they see comments on social media that are threatening.

Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit, run in part by several family members who lost loved ones in the 2012 school shooting.

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