Education

Miami-Dade school board considers gun violence training, prevention programs

President Barack Obama looks at Nicole Hockley and her husband Ian, right, after she introduced him at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn., Monday, April 8, 2013. The Hockley's lost a child in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. On Wednesday, Hockley is scheduled to speak at the Miami-Dade County School Board to encourage Florida’s largest school system to adopt the organization’s training and prevention programs.
President Barack Obama looks at Nicole Hockley and her husband Ian, right, after she introduced him at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn., Monday, April 8, 2013. The Hockley's lost a child in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. On Wednesday, Hockley is scheduled to speak at the Miami-Dade County School Board to encourage Florida’s largest school system to adopt the organization’s training and prevention programs. AP

Nicole Hockley lost her 6-year old son in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting almost three years ago.

So she started the Sandy Hook Promise, an organization that works to protect children from gun violence.

On Wednesday, Hockley is scheduled to speak at the Miami-Dade County School Board to encourage Florida’s largest school system to adopt the organization’s training and prevention programs.

“If there’s something out there we know we can try to save one life, then it’s our responsiblity to try it,” said school board member Lawrence Feldman, who proposed the district should adopt the program.

The school board will also consider implementing the Rachel’s Challenge program at 18 schools. Based on the life and writings of Rachel Scott, the first student killed in the Columbine High shootings in 1999, the program aims to make schools more welcoming places.

Children are losing their lives often — too often.

Lawrence Feldman, school board member

Both proposals come on the heels of deadly school shootings across the country, including one at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire on a writing class on Oct. 1.

Closer to home, several school-aged children have recently been killed or hurt in gun violence. On Monday, two teens were shot in Liberty City. In March, 10 year-old Marlon Eason was killed by a bullet to the head while playing basketball in front of his home. Two teenagers who police say are gang members said the killing was an accident.

“Children are losing their lives often — too often. And it’s outside of school but they’re still our children,” Feldman said.

Sandy Hook Promise provides free mental-health training and teaches school communities how to be more socially inclusive. The organization also teaches children what to do if they come across a firearm.

“There are so many actions we can take to protect our children, and each other, from preventable gun tragedies,” Hockley recently said in a lecture that was recorded as part of the TEDx Talks series.

Christina Veiga: 305-376-2029, @cveiga

  Comments