Oct 31, 2016

Lakeview Urges Students to ‘Say Something’

Lakeview students posing after pledging to say something if they witness violence in the schools

Students at Lakeview Junior High School pledged to make their school a safer place last week – and to “Say Something” if they see signs of potential violence in the schools.

During “Say Something Week,” students and teachers took time to discuss how to recognize the warning signs, signals and threats of potential violence, and the importance of students taking action by telling a trusted adult.

The students also discussed the Sandy Hook Promise, named in recognition of Sandy Hook Elementary, site of the tragic 2012 mass shooting of 20 students and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut. By signing the Sandy Hook Promise, students and adults agree “to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities.”

“We are learning how to say something to protect yourself, your classmates, and the community, and to help prevent violence and threats,” said Sarah Geiger, Lakeview school counselor. Geiger said the three steps are to look for warning signs, signals, and threats; act immediately and take the warning signs seriously; and say something to a trusted adult.

“We can all promise to do our part of make the schools a healthy and safe place,” Geiger said.

The school participated in a wide range of activities during the week, including making a “pledge tree” in the hallway that WEB leaders displayed in the hallway. WEB leaders also reached out to their fellow classmates during lunch periods, identifying themselves as someone their fellow students could reach out to if needed.

The school also encouraged parents to get involved by talking to their children about the Say Something program, and to discuss what they have learned. Event organizers say such conversations will help parents recognize potentials concerns with their own children. It also demonstrates to children that parents take this subject seriously, and can be a trusted resource they can turn to if they suspect someone may need help.

Other buildings in the district also will be taking on this initiative in the near future. Last week, Pickerington High School Principal Stacy Tennenbaum delivered a video message to students at her schools, empowering students and staff to help prevent tragedy and save lives.

“We want to build a culture of looking out for one another and reporting possible threats when someone sees, reads, or hears something, especially with social media,” she said. We do a pretty good job of keeping our school safe, but we can do an even better job. It is not snitching when you are looking out for the safety and well being of PHSC. It is reporting.”