Preventing Violence Through Kindness

Trea Hsieh-Lewis, Staff Writer

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of 2012, the Sandy Hook Promise and SAVE Promise Club emerged. Recently I sat down with Robbie Sanders, student leader of the KHS SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Club, to learn more about what it is and how it’s active in our school.

According to Robbie, the SAVE Promise Club is a subsidiary of the Sandy Hook Promise, and is only one of many nationwide student-led groups. This simply means it’s an offshoot of the Sandy Hook Promise, an organization that trains students and teachers to be aware of gun violence. Robbie describes the Promise Club as an outlet for kids to “look out for one another, be kind, prevent violence before it happens, and make kids feel included and welcome.” The SAVE Promise Club is also part of the Wellness Committee at our school, which is best known for its ‘Taste-It Tuesdays.’

Despite how little the student body knows about this new club, it has already been involved in some school activities and plans on many more to come. Robbie said they started with ‘Hello Week,’ when each day of the school week was devoted to encouraging students and staff to reach out to one another. One day involved wearing name tags to meet new people, and another included being greeted by the parking lot by kids and teachers during a late start morning. The club is looking to shift the culture of the high school. They’re always looking for more ideas, so those interested in joining should contact either him or Mrs. Donaher.

Robbie describes our school environment as one that’s “good, but could always improve.” It’s all too easy for us to live in our own bubbles and disconnect from others around us, which is why this club matters at our school. Regardless of our school’s atmosphere, we need to be considerate of others beyond our close friends. As many of us are aware, school shooters tend to be those who have been marginalized and/or feel as if they are being treated as such in school. This frustration and anger festers in them until they break, seeking revenge in the most horrific way possible. Thus, this club, through various activities that seek to promote kindness and acceptance of all, aims to mitigate these feelings. After all, it’s always possible to be kind. Shifting culture can be hard, but this is work the SAVE Promise Club is willing to take on.