Safe and Sound Schools To Host Congressional Briefing on School Safety

The briefing and panel discussion set for Capitol Hill will focus on “The Importance of Mental Health in Comprehensive School Safety and Security Efforts” on April 11, 2019.

Newtown, Conn. – Apr. 9, 2019Safe and Sound Schools, a national school safety non-profit founded by Sandy Hook parents, today announced it will host a briefing and panel discussion in cooperation with the Congressional School Safety Caucus on Thursday, April 11, 2019.  The discussion, “The Importance of Mental Health in Comprehensive School Safety and Security Efforts,” will be led by Michele Gay, co-founder and executive director at Safe and Sound Schools.

“Mental health is a key area essential not only to comprehensive school safety, but to the work that we do at Safe and Sound Schools,” said Michele Gay.  “It is a great honor to be apart of this opportunity to share insights around mental health services, school culture, and how we can make our communities safer for students and educators.”

Fellow briefing participants include:

  • Edward A. Clarke, Chief Safety Officer for Montgomery County Public Schools, MD
  • Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Director of Policy and Advocacy at the National Association of School Psychologists
  • Dr. Christina Conolly, NCSP: Director for Psychological Services with the Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, MD
  • Paul Kelly, Principal of Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village, Illinois
  • Benjamin S. Fernandez, MS Ed, School psychologist and Coordinator of Prevention Services for Loudoun County Public Schools, VA

Co-hosts include the Secure Schools Alliance, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of School Psychologists, School Superintendents Association, and Security Industry Association. The briefing will take place at the Rayburn House Office Building.

“We must look at school health, safety and security holistically, as they are interconnected,” said Robert Boyd, Executive Director of Secure Schools Alliance. “Although the Alliance focuses on improving the physical security of K-12 schools, we are excited to join with our partners to brief the Congressional School Safety Caucus on the critical role mental health professionals play in our schools.”

For more information about the Congressional briefing or other inquiries, view the invitation.

About Safe and Sound Schools

Michele Gay and Alissa Parker founded Safe and Sound Schools in 2013, following the tragic deaths of their children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Safe and Sound Schools works with school communities and mental health, law enforcement, and safety professionals to create and ensure the safest possible learning environment for all youth. The non-profit organization delivers crisis-prevention, response, and recovery programs, tools, and resources, backed by national experts, to educate all members of the school community, from students and parents, to teachers and administrators, to law enforcement and local leaders. Winner of the 2015 New England Business Association Innovation Award for nonprofits, Safe and Sound Schools continues to answer the growing needs of school communities with custom programs, assessments, and training, reaching schools in every state in the country. For more information, visit

About NASP

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) represents more than 25,000 school psychologists, graduate students, and related professionals throughout the United States and 25 other countries. NASP works to advance effective practices to improve students’ learning, behavior, and mental health.


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization for principals and other school leaders across the United States, seeking to transform education through school leadership.

About AASA

The School Superintendents Association (AASA) is the premier association for school system leaders and serves as the national voice for public education and district leadership on Capitol Hill.

About SIA

The Security Industry Association (SIA) is the leading trade association for global security solution providers, nearly 1,000 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry.

Secure Schools Alliance

The Secure Schools Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, works to improve the nation’s school security infrastructure, security technology and life safety systems as an important way to help protect children and teachers.


Media Contact:
Azia Celestino
Safe and Sound Schools