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Teacher With Sandy Hook Group Imparts Lesson Locally

May 12, 2018 GMT

KINGSTON — Wyoming Valley West middle school and high school students learned valuable lessons Friday about ways to prevent suicides and violence at school.

Annie Slease, a teacher and mother from Delaware, was a guest speaker at both schools, and she represented the Sandy Hook Promise organization. The group was founded by family members of the victims killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“You are the solution,” she told sixth-grade students at the middle school.

Her speech was entitled, “Say Something,” and her message to students was look for warning signs, take action and say something to a trusted adult.

She has a personal story to share. Eight years ago, her younger son was 13 and found a loaded gun in a dresser drawer when looking for a pair of socks. Her older son was 18 at the time, and he convinced the younger son it was for self defense.

Her older son was struggling with depression, and the 13-year-old initially didn’t say anything. He eventually did, and her sons today, 21 and 26, are fine.

Slease explained the difference between telling on someone and saying something.

“Telling on someone is to get them in trouble. Saying something is to help them,” she said. “That doesn’t make you a rat. It makes you brave. It makes you a hero.”

Middle School Principal Deborah Troy said it was “an important program,” which will help “make school a better place and more peaceful place.”

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