We continue to watch school shootings happen across our country, and we continue to question how to stop them. A mom who knows all too well the pain of the worst-case scenario sat down with us this week for our latest podcast episode. Michele Gay lost her daughter Josephine in the Sandy Hook Massacre years ago and now spends her time fighting to help prevent more loss.
“I’m all in. I will keep tearing obstacles down because it matters.” Michele founded Safe and Sound Schools, a national non-profit school safety advocacy and resource center that provides research-based tools and support for crisis prevention, response, and recovery. She talked to us about what she believes it will take to curb school shootings.
“I think a lot of how we talk about this stuff makes a difference. If you’re talking about something so far out of their realm of comprehending or imagining, naturally they will tune you out. If they don’t have the skills to cope, they will recoil.” Instead, Michele believes helping people understand that everyone has a part in prevention.
Michele says after diving into the background of her daughter’s killer, there were multiple opportunities to face the potential for violence head-on. “Sandy Hook opened my eyes; there were multiple points in this young man’s life where we could have turned him another way. If we know someone is unstable in our community, then we can balance safety to help protect but also intervening to try to turn that person.”
For Michele, she says the epidemic is not like the invention of antibiotic. There is no pill that will cure the infection. Ninety-three percent of shooters showed signs that were concerning to others. “It’s multi-layered and If we know someone is unstable in our community, then we can balance safety to help protect but also intervening to try to turn that person.”
Trhough of legislation we can address fear to report, because if you don’t, you’re an accomplice.
If you’re reporting to an echo chamber, we aren’t getting anywhere…think through whole process.