PLEASANT HILL, Calif., October 25, 2018 – The first-ever Contra Costa County Safe Schools Summit, featuring the official launch of the partnership between the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) was held on Wednesday, October 24, at the Pleasant Hill Community Center.
The Summit was an opportunity to officially launch the CCCOE’s new partnership with the national non-profit organization, SHP, and included an engaging and collaborative conversation about efforts to prevent, prepare, and respond to incidents of violence on school campuses. The Summit featured the SHP Know the Signs programs and others. These no-cost programs are currently kicking off in middle and high schools throughout Contra Costa County.
Attending and taking part with the Summit were more than 160 attendees, creating 22 working teams from 17 Contra Costa County school districts, local law enforcement, PTA, and the county’s Community College District. Coordinated by the CCCOE, the goal of the event was to promote a culture of connectedness and inclusion, where schools and communities come together to support young people so that violence on school campuses becomes a thing of the past.
The keynote speaker was Nicole Hockley, founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise. (Hockley lost her youngest son during the Sandy Hook School shooting.) She reminded the crowd, “We don’t focus on the gun, we focus on the person.” Following Hockley, a “Start with Hello” mock student assembly presentation, was demostrated by Brandon Rainey, of SHP. The Summit concluded with group break-out discussions and closed with the groups’ reports to the entire assembly.
“Today’s summit was extraordinary,” reports Walnut Creek School District Superintendent Marie Morgan. “I want to recognize the CCCOE for their efforts in organizing our Safe Schools Initiative, their hard work is appreciated! On behalf of all the WCSD students you are supporting to keep safe – Thank you!”
Prior to the summit, a one-hour Parent Coffee was offered for Contra Costa County parents of current K-12 students. The presentation featured Hockley giving a presentation about Sandy Hook Promise, followed with a question and answer session.