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Sandy Hook Promise "Start With Hello"

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In December of 2017, then Sheriff-Elect Errol Toulon, Jr. attended a gala in New York City for the Sandy Hook Promise Organization. There he met with Mark Barden, one of the founders of Sandy Hook Promise and the father of Daniel, one of the young children killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sheriff Toulon was so moved by this organization, that out of something tragic, built a school safety program which empowers students, teachers, and the community to become empowered bystanders. Upon taking office in January 2018, his first priority was to partner with Sandy Hook Promise to bring their programming to all Suffolk County schools.

Start With Hello, which is geared for students in grades K-12, teaches children, teens and young adults how to be more socially inclusive and connected to one another.

Social isolation is the feeling of being left out, lonely and treated like you are invisible. At every school and in every community there are children who feel like they have no friends and quietly suffer through each day especially at lunchtime and other moments where friends gather together. Young people who are isolated can become a victim of bullying, violence and/or depression. As a result, many people pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/or choose to hurt themselves or others.

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Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon would like to remember all the victims lost on December 14, 2012 in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Sheriff Toulon looks back on that day and why he is passionate about making sure it doesn't happen again.
Start with Hello teaches students, educators, parents and other community leaders to make sure that no one eats alone. This simple action instills the power and reward of social inclusion – that when you see someone alone at lunch (or across any other experience), say hello, introduce yourself, ask them to join you.


Know the Signs

People who are at-risk of hurting themselves or others often show signs and signals before an act of violence takes place. When you don’t know what to look for, it can be easy to miss signs, or dismiss them as unimportant, sometimes with tragic consequences. ​

It’s important to know that one warning sign on its own does not mean a person is planning an act of violence. But when many connected or cumulative signs are observed over a period of time, it could mean that the person is heading down a pathway towards violence or self-harm. By knowing the signs, you have the power to intervene and get help for that person. Your actions can save lives. ​

Start With Hello educates students on how to be more socially inclusive to prevent feelings of social isolation, feelings of being left out or unnoticed, further preventing the risk of school violence.​

Request a Presentation

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office has 8 officers specially trained to present this presentation. They are available to meet with school faculty prior to showing the presentation to students to answer any questions. They meet with students grades K-12 to show the presentation. In September of 2019, the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office will start presenting this program.​

For more information on the Sandy Hook Promise "Start With Hello" Program or to book a presentation, please fill out the contact form below and someone will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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