Here’s how one schoolteacher takes time each week to look out for the lonely. Learn more: Reader’s Digest

Unprompted: Are our kids safe? A Sandy Hook mom’s lessons on school shootings

Learn more: WCPO

Safe and Sound Schools wants to hear from you about the state of school safety in your community. We are launching a national survey to measure perceptions of school safety among parents, students, and educators. We hope you will take a few minutes to complete the survey by Friday, March 9. The survey only takes 5 minutes, and your responses will be anonymous. The survey can be found here (

Safe and Sound Schools will publish a report on the survey findings in the spring. We hope the insights gained from this research will help school communities better tackle the challenge of school safety. As you well know, this is an issue that affects our entire country, and with your help, we can make a difference. And please, if you care about this issue, please ask your friends, family, and school communities to take this survey as well. The more people who participate, the better, as we’ll have an even-more clear look at the state of school safety.

Thank you for your time.

Michele and Alissa

Full Transcript: Face the Nation on February 25, 2018

Read more: CBS News, Face the Nation

‘It takes you right back’: Maryland native, mother of Sandy Hook victim reflects on Florida school shooting

Learn more: Baltimore Sun

Sandy Hook parent: I know what Parkland survivors are feeling

Learn more: MSNBC

A seventh-grader was hospitalized Tuesday after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound at an Ohio middle school. Read the article on USA Today.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg needed little time to reflect on the shooting rampage he survived on lockdown in a classroom with other terrified students Wednesday. Read the article on ABC.

Working for Safe and Sound Schools means meeting and working with a lot of amazing people, but the young people we get to work with through our Safe and Sound Youth Council may just be the most fun! We love our parents, teachers, mental health, police, fire, and safety professionals no less. But for this former teacher, it’s still all about “the kids.”

In January, I was invited to Westport, Massachusetts by Briannah, a high school senior looking for help with her senior project. The topic? School safety, of course. She could have picked a million different—and worthwhile–social concerns to focus on, but for her, it was important to give back to the community where she grew up by ensuring that it would be safe for classes to come.

Since founding Safe and Sound Schools, high schoolers like Briannah have reached out to us to learn how they can be a part of our mission. It should not have surprised us that so many young people across the country would take note and reach out to join in. Yet the wisdom of these young people still takes my breath away.

They get it.

School is for them and about them. They are leaders, thinkers, creators, dreamers and problem solvers. They are our future.

So why not give them a seat at the table and watch the magic happen? Every young person that has reached out to us over the years has had a hand in developing the Safe and Sound Youth Council.  For each of them and now beneficiaries like Westport High School students, we are proud to share the exciting growth of our program. Safe and Sound Youth Councils are gearing up in Massachusetts, Connecticut, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Maryland, Utah, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Ohio, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Texas and Florida!

As I shared my story at Westport High and talked about love, loss, and learning, I watched an auditorium full of middle and high school students follow me–kind of amazing as these folks can be a tough crowd! Yet there they were, every step of the way, eager to learn and then to find out how they can be part of the solution.

As I wrapped up my talk and finished with an invitation to join our Youth Council, I scanned the crowd of young faces to see who might step up. I saw ideas, enthusiasm, and energy throughout. I saw leaders, thinkers, and change-makers ready to get started. And I saw the adults—police, teachers, counselors, staff members, and parents ready too. Ready to make room at the table. Ready to share in this work. Ready to work together to keep their school safe and sound.

Thank you to Briannah and the staff of Westport High School for hosting Safe and Sound Schools! We look forward to working and learning with you!

Michele Gay, Co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools

Schools: Sandy Hook mom says communities matter for safety

Learn more: Coastal Observer