Michelle Gay of Safe and Sound Schools on Preventing Gun Violence in Schools
After losing her daughter in the Sandy Hook shooting, Michelle Gay wants to ensure school safety is available for all.
“I remember being in the parking lot that day and having this realization, not really fully understanding what had all transpired that morning but knowing that someone who shouldn’t have been able to was able to get into our school with a gun and start attacking people,” she said. “And that was all I need to know—to know that we hadn’t made the progress that I thought that we had made over the decades in making sure that I our schools were safe, you know?”
Gay co-founded Safe and Sound Schools with Alissa Parker after their daughters were killed along with 18 other children in the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. The grassroots campaign, which has no political ties, empowers communities with the tools and resources needed to protect students.
“The genesis of our organization is in tragedy but we feel that we’ve found a way to put our pain to purpose by helping to teach others what we learned firsthand and to think ahead, to find all kinds of different ways to pitch in,” she explained.
Gay wants to enlist to help of everyone—from administrators to custodians.
“It’s just too big nowadays for us to plant school safety on one person’s shoulders, right?” she stated. “We can’t expect that the police are gonna be able to handle this entirely, that mental health professionals are gonna be able to handle this entirely that teachers will, that parents will.”