New Initiative Helps Journalism Educators Tackle School Violence Head On

ROSWELL, GA. – In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, new emphasis is being placed on school violence prevention and planning. Firestorm, the nation’s leading expert in school safety and preparedness, has teamed with School Newspapers Online (SNO) to meet this demand.  Beginning this March, Firestorm will offer expert training and tools to over 1000 schools through their journalism programs.

First, Firestorm will provide relevant content for SNO schools to use in their student-run online news publications. Written by Firestorm’s experts, articles will include subjects such as: school violence, cyber bullying, social media, disaster preparedness, online predators, and effective school drills. “We are very excited about this collaboration created to provide journalism educators the tools they need to keep our schools and students safer. Firestorm and its Expert Council Members have the strongest credentials in the school safety industry and have responded to some of the nation’s greatest school tragedies, such as Virginia Tech and Columbine. It’s our goal to utilize our Predict.Plan.Perform® process to help create disaster-ready people and organizations,” said Paige Rucker & Brett Ledet, Principals, Firestorm.

Also starting in March, Firestorm will conduct webinars specifically for SNO schools. These webinars, planned to be broadcast live and available as recordings after, will cover similar school preparedness in-depth topics.  The first webinar’s topic, “Is Your School Safe?” will be presented by Firestorm CEO Harry Rhulen on Wednesday, March 20 from 2:00-3:00 pm EDT. Registration for both the live broadcast and access to the recorded webinar is available at:

In addition to providing content and education, Firestorm will give SNO schools access to its School Crisis Response Management Panel – an expert panel to turn to for concerns regarding school violence. “We are pleased to offer the expertise of Firestorm as a valuable resource to our journalism programs around the country,” said Tom Hutchinson, co-founder of SNO.  “These programs serve as a vital communication tool for schools, and Firestorm’s experts will help student journalists and faculty advisers better address these difficult issues.”

Finally, Firestorm will introduce a Firestorm School Reporter program for student journalists at SNO client schools.  This program will give students the opportunity to publish articles on the Firestorm website.  Also, student reporters will provide insights into the issues facing schools today by responding to polls and suggesting areas of concern to Firestorm experts.

About Firestorm: (, Firestorm transforms crisis into value, and is a recognized leader in continuity services, crisis management, critical decision support, crisis communications, crisis public relations, and consequence management. Firestorm staff and Expert Council members, who include– attorneys, engineers, physicians, law enforcement professionals, psychologists and many other talented individuals, bring hands-on crisis expertise to its clients at the time when they need it most. Firestorm maintains a network of offices throughout the country to be responsive and accessible to its national and international roster of clients.

About SNO:  (, School Newspapers Online (SNO), was established in 2008 by a high-school newspaper advisor and teacher and an expert in content management systems. Based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, SNO focuses specifically on the needs of college and high school newspapers looking to create—or enhance—their presence online. With over 1000 educational institution customers nationwide, SNO continues to meet or exceed the needs of newspaper advisers and their staffs in an era of tight school funding and in the face of the ever-increasing costs associated with print. The company aims to keep its websites affordable while offering all the functionality and design flexibility found on major newspaper sites.

Paige Rucker, Firestorm, 847.235.7033, [email protected]
Tom Hutchinson, SNO, 888.649.7784, [email protected]