It’s Time to Put an End to Mass Shootings
Mass school shootings are happening so frequently, students now presume their turn is coming. The rest of the nation feels no less safe. VTV is committed to bringing people together to create meaningful and measurable change.
Fulfilling Our Mission
49 trees were recently planted at the Virginia Tech Alexandria campus to honor the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting.
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Impact, Programs, Legislative Achievements
Our ImpactToday, our main focus is to assist mass shooting survivors nationwide with their long-term physical and psychological trauma-related care needs. Historically, VTV has been an advocate for stronger school safety and security. Specifically, we have supported the following programs and initiatives:
32 National Campus Safety Initiative (32 NCSI)On August 13, 2015, VTV launched this revolutionary program to provide the first-ever comprehensive view of a school’s safety posture. 32 NCSI offers institutions of higher education a series of free, confidential, online self-assessment tools to improve comprehensive campus safety programs. It equips schools with the info they need to know where they’re doing well and helps schools bridge any gaps to help make their campus safer. In 2017 VTV partnered with NASPA-Student Affairs Administrations in Higher Education—the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession—to advance 32 NCSI with colleges and universities. 32 NCSI is available as an individual self-assessment as well as part of the NASPA P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E.S. self-assessment. The P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E.S. self-assessment incorporates 32 NCSI and focuses on student affairs policies, resources, relationship with academic affairs, compliance, technology, inclusion, community, evidence, and student success. To learn more about 32NNCSI visit http://www.32ncsi.org/consumers/questions-to-ask/ Or contact NASPA at email@example.com or 202-903-0654 to get started with 32 NCSI or learn more about this comprehensive resource.
Promoting Positive Practices SRO Model & TrainingFunded by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Center for Applied Behavior Systems, VTV developed a comprehensive safety model and training program for K-12 School Resource Officers (SROs) and their school-based partners. The Promoting Positive Practices (P3) SRO Model and Training Program was designed to improve collaboration among previously non-integrated groups and emphasize problem solving and youth development in a positive school climate. The program emphasizes individually tailored school safety and security plans that incorporate how the duties of their SROs intersect with all aspects of their school safety. Learn more >
National Center for Campus Public SafetyThrough years of work at the White House, U.S. Capital, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Justice, and other areas of influence, VTV championed the creation of the National Center for Campus Public Safety on March 14, 2013 via the CAMPUS Safety Act, as well as the funding of NCCPS on May 30, 2014. Guided by an advisory board, on which VTV is represented, NCCPS serves as a national clearinghouse for research, best practices and training for college and university police and security.
Campus SaVE ActVTV was at the forefront, along with a diverse coalition of national organizations, of securing the passage in 2013 of the “Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act” or “Campus SaVE Act” (also known as the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act or the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 0f 2013 – H.R. 4970, S.1925 – signed into law by President Obama on March 7, 2013) that enhanced and modernized the two-decade-old federal campus sexual violence prevention and response guidelines. VTV’s prior 32NCSI Director, S. Daniel Carter, served as one of fifteen Negotiated Rulemaking Committee members that aided the Dept. of Education in crafting these proposed regulations. VTV also used traditional media to address the 20-year old sexual assault provisions in the Jeanne Clery Act to expand them to include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Crisis ResponseVTV’s Crisis Response team is a group of trained VTV family members and staff who provide assistance upon request to the victims of mass school violence and similar tragedies. We offer trained responders, informed by experience, to help victims, survivors, families, teachers, staff and their connected community
Remembrance ActivitiesIn the past VTV has organized activities in remembrance of the 32 innocent lives lost on April 16, 2007. In collaboration with Virginia Tech, an on-campus art exhibit was hosted on the 5th anniversary. Several golf tournaments and gran fondos (bike rides of 32 and 100 miles) have been organized annually. “Through the Storm” a hand bell performance was commissioned by VTV and dedicated to the victims and survivors of 4/16.
Violence Prevention ConferenceVTV co-sponsored the Violence Prevention Conference offered by the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA). VTV participated in the development and implementation of the conference, which was held in January 2015.
Intergenerational Day CampVTV funded five Adult Day Care Scholarships Fees for adults, fifty t-shirts for children age 5-12, and camp fees for 18-year olds and older to attend the camp, which focused on cultural diversity and peace-building. For more information on Generations Crossings, visit www.generationscrossing.com.
The Heart of Virginia FoundationVTV funded the maintenance of a school bus that travelled throughout the United States to visit young people on college campuses in an effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness. For more information on The Heart of Virginia Foundation, visit TheHeartofVA.org.
Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008In one of VTV’s earliest impacts, families banded together in 2008 and told Congress to amend the Clery Act because “these warnings must be issued as soon as possible”. As a result of their influence and others, HEOA included amendments to the Clery Act to require campuses to issue immediate notifications about any emergency situation that is a threat to the health or safety of students and employees. Among other updates, HEOA also requires state universities to know their emergency management plans, conduct exercise drills every year, have an emergency notification system in place, and use it in a timely manner. HEOA also provided for a matching grant program so colleges and universities could fund safety and security improvement initiatives. There is also a provision for mental health services for students and staff so they can be coordinated with appropriate local entities. The HEOA bill was signed into law on August 14, 2008 by President Bush, reauthorizing the amended version of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965.
Collaboration with Other Advocacy GroupsVTV has hosted representatives from Columbine, Sandy Hook, PEACE OUTside Campus, CLEARCAUSE, Michael H. Minger Foundation, and others groups during our annual meetings and other events – in an effort to establish healthy, collaborative relationships with organizations having similar goals, and to broaden our scope on educating schools, colleges and the general public. We continue to offer our support and collaboration as often as needed.
History of Caring SupportIn one example, the Chardon High School community in Chardon, Ohio reached out to VTV for assistance in helping the victims, survivors, their families, and school administrators in the aftermath of a school shooting tragedy. Upon request from the Chardon School Communications Director, VTV sent a VT survivor to assist meeting with two students and their moms. VTV representatives have visited and continue to support the Sandy Hook Elementary School Community of Newtown, Connecticut. To learn more, contact us today.
VTV has a strong history of bringing people together to make things happen.With your help, we can continue to do more.
Our Programs1. VTVCARE is a non-profit movement created solely to assist mass shooting survivors suffering from physical and psychological trauma with their long-term trauma-related care needs. To learn more about VTVCARE visit www.vtvcare.org 2. 32NCSI is a first-ever comprehensive review of your school’s safety. To help colleges and universities be safer and more secure, the VTV Family Outreach Foundation developed a new integrated approach to improving campus safety called the 32 National Campus Safety Initiative or 32 NCSI. Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech in 2007, survivors and victims’ families joined together to uncover all the dimensions of campus safety and facilitate a forum where national experts could develop best practices and resources. The result was a confidential, self-paced, online self-assessment program that looks at key areas of campus safety. Using this new resource, colleges and universities can better assess themselves across nine important areas:
- Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Campus Public Safety
- Emergency Management
- Mental Health
- Missing Students
- Physical Security
- Sexual Violence
- Threat Assessment
Crisis ResponseAs part of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation’s mission and strategic plan, VTV established a Crisis Response Team (CRT). VTV family and staff members were trained by the National Organization for victim assistance in trauma mitigation and education in response to school shootings. Our Crisis Response Team provides assistance, upon request, to those impacted by incidents of mass school violence and similar tragedies. We offer trained responders, informed by experience, to help victims, survivors, families, teachers, staff and their connected community.
Legislative AchievementsSoon after the tragedy, a group of family members and survivors embraced this selfless mission. They approached then-Governor Tim Kaine to seek a change in Virginia law that had allowed the shooter to buy his guns legally. A formal determination had been made by the Commonwealth that the shooter had been a danger to himself. His name was not submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) because he was required to seek outpatient rather than inpatient treatment. Ultimately, working with Governor Kaine, the General Assembly, and interest groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Brady Campaign, legislation was passed to ensure that an involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment would be grounds for inclusion in NICS. Then, the Virginia Tech group continued to work with the NRA and the Brady Campaign, with the additional support of Virginia’s U.S. Senators, to pass federal legislation that provided grant funds for other states willing to follow Virginia’s lead on this issue. This was the original Fix NICS Act. It was needed because the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to require states to submit the names of people legally prohibited from buying a gun to the federal government. Early in 2018, with VTV’s support and urging, a bipartisan revision and improvement of the Fix NICS Act was passed. It was spurred by the mass shooting tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas that took 26 lives. “The law, sponsored by Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, requires federal agencies to improve their reporting standards and encourage states to follow suit. Federal agencies would be required to submit detailed action plans to the attorney general’s office, showing how they intend to upload all records on people prohibited from buying guns into the NICS database. The plans would include specific quantitative goals and timelines for compliance.
Amending the Clery ActIn one of VTV’s earliest impacts, families banded together in 2008 and told Congress to amend the Clery Act because “these warnings must be issued as soon as possible”. As a result of their influence and others, HEOA included amendments to the Clery Act to require campuses to issue immediate notifications about any emergency situation that is a threat to the health or safety of students and employees. Among other updates, HEOA also requires state universities to know their emergency management plans, conduct exercise drills every year, have an emergency notification system in place, and use it in a timely manner. HEOA also provided for a matching grant program so colleges and universities could fund safety and security improvement initiatives. There is also a provision for mental health services for students and staff so they can be coordinated with appropriate local entities. The HEOA bill was signed into law on August 14, 2008 by President Bush, reauthorizing the amended version of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965.
Laws Passed to Make College Campuses SaferBetween 2010 -2015, both VTV and its sister organization, Angel Fund, successfully advanced legislation in Virginia that has made our college campuses safer.
2015 – SB 1122 requires each public institution of higher education’s policies that advise students, faculty, and staff of the proper procedures for identifying and addressing the needs of students exhibiting suicidal tendencies or behavior to require procedures for notifying the institution’s student health or counseling center when a student exhibits suicidal tendencies or behavior.
2014 – SB 239 requires the violence prevention committee of each public institution of higher education to establish policies and procedures that outline circumstances under which all faculty and staff are to report threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a physical threat to the community. The bill also requires each violence prevention committee to include notification of family members or guardians, or both, as a sufficient means of action in the committee’s policies and procedures for the assessment of individuals whose behavior may present a physical threat, unless such notification would prove harmful to the individual in question.
2013 – SB 1078 requires the State Board for Community Colleges to develop a mental health referral policy that would require community colleges to designate at least one individual at each college to serve as a point of contact with an emergency services system clinician at a local community services board, or another qualified mental health services provider, for screenings and referrals of students who may have emergency or urgent mental health needs.
2010 – This legislation requires the president and vice-president of each public institution of higher education, or the superintendent in the case of the Virginia Military Institute, to annually certify in writing to the Department of Emergency Management comprehension and understanding of the institution’s crisis and emergency management plan. The bill also provides that each public institution of higher education shall annually conduct a functional exercise in accordance with the protocols established by the institution’s crisis and emergency management
VTV News Releases
This article was originally published by Alexandria Times on April 28, 2018 The Virginia Tech Victims Family Outreach Foundation is planting the first phase of its memorial tree grove at Chinquapin Park on Sunday to commemorate victims and survivors of the 2007...read more
The attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month was the latest in what seems like an inescapable pattern to proponents of gun safety: gunfire, thoughts and prayers, funerals and public mourning, until the next time. But the survivors...read more
This article was originally published on Falls Church News Press A crowd of 1300 attended a town hall meeting with U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) in addition to featured speaker Fred Guttenberg at T.C. Williams High School on March 7....read more