NIJ Virtual Conference on School Safety

Bridging Research to Practice to Safeguard Our Schools

Tragedy to Transformation: Preventing School Violence with Proven Programs

Tragedy to Transformation: Preventing School Violence with Proven Programs, Nicole Hockley, Sandy Hook Promise

In the weeks following the murder of her son, Dylan, in his first-grade classroom, Nicole Hockley co-founded Sandy Hook Promise with a mission to end school shootings. The research-informed Know The Signs programs she helped develop and launch have since taught more than 12 million people how to prevent violence and self-harm. Through these no-cost programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

Nicole Hockley

Mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy on December 14, 2012

Nicole Hockley is co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise where she oversees organizational strategy, marketing, and development of the acclaimed Know the Signs violence prevention programs. Under her leadership, the Sandy Hook Promise is effectively turning tragedy into transformation, averting multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence in schools across the country.

Nicole is a sought-after speaker and editorial contributor on the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis or at-risk of harming themselves or others, and how to take action to intervene. She has delivered several TEDx Talks and been featured in Newsweek, TIME, InStyle, and People, among countless other media outlets.

Based on Nicole’s extensive background in strategic marketing and communications for companies in the U.S. and in the U.K., Sandy Hook Promise is rapidly becoming a household name, with ever-growing awareness for its award-winning and provocative PSA campaigns. The Emmy-winning Back-to-School Essentials and Evan videos have been seen by hundreds of millions worldwide, kick-starting important conversations about school safety and actions everyone can take.

When she’s not hard at work encouraging more people to “know the signs” to prevent gun violence, Nicole is busy parenting and having fun with her teenage son, Jake, and their dog, Angel, in their Newtown, CT home.

Mary Carlton

Mary Poulin Carlton, Ph.D. is a Social Science Research Analyst at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. At NIJ, Mary works on multiple research portfolios including those pertaining to school safety, gangs, violent crime, and white collar crime. Prior to NIJ, Mary held positions at the Office of Research and Evaluation at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in Washington, DC and the Justice Research and Statistics Association in Washington, DC. In 2005, she received her doctorate in criminal justice from Temple University.

Phelan Wyrick

Phelan Wyrick, Ph.D. is the Director of the Research and Evaluation Division at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). He leads a team of social scientists that develop and oversee federally-funded research, evaluation, and data collection projects related to criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. His division works to build knowledge and advance evidence-based practices to address national priorities on topics that include: firearms violence, human trafficking, terrorism prevention, violence against women, elder abuse, gangs, school safety, juvenile justice, and white-collar crime. Dr. Wyrick also leads NIJ’s international activities in coordination with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.


Tragedy to Transformation: Preventing School Violence with Proven Programs
02/17/2021 at 11:00 AM (EST)   |  60 minutes
02/17/2021 at 11:00 AM (EST)   |  60 minutes