2019 - 2022, Active

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation’s Know the Signs Programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District

Affiliated Project

Learn more about a related project “Addressing Health Disparities in Youth Gun Violence: Multilevel School Climate Intervention” presented by Justin Heinze at the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) symposium, October 21, 2019.

This two year study based in the Los Angeles Unified School District will evaluate programs designed to reduce gun violence in schools by teaching youth to recognize and report potential violence and mental health threats and by increasing social inclusion at school. The purpose is to provide an evaluation of school-based interventions that aim to promote safety via early detection of signs of potential violent or self-harm behavior, build inclusivity and respect among students and staff, and encourage a culture of safety.

Note: This project has changed from the original scope as a result of COVID-19-related disruptions to schools.

Abstract

The two year study will evaluate programs designed to reduce gun violence in schools by teaching youth to recognize and report potential violence and mental health threats and by increasing social inclusion at school.

Purpose: To provide an evaluation of school-based interventions that aim to promote safety via early detection of signs of potential violent or self-harm behavior, build inclusivity and respect among students and staff, and encourage a culture of safety.

Approach

  • Conduct a non-equivalent control group study involving 19 middle schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
  • Collect data from multiple sources (including pre- and post-surveys with students; school records; and semi-structured interviews with key personnel) to assess school-related firearm and violent behavior and its antecedents.
  • Assess risk reporting, incidents, school-community response and school climate.

Significance: School-based interventions that promote early detection and encourage a culture of safety hold promise for reducing the burden of firearms violence among youth but have not been evaluated. Developing preliminary evidence of their effects will be important for schools considering how best to allocate resources to ensure student and staff safety.

Note: This project has changed from the original scope as a result of COVID-19-related disruptions to schools.

Project Team

Marc Zimmerman, PhD
Justin Heinze, PhD
Hsing-Fang Hsieh, PhD

Funders

National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research

Sandy Hook Foundation

Partners

 

Los Angeles Unified School District