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The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

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The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

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Sandy Hook Promise Releases PSA About School Shootings

Jacqueline Lutz

Back to school season has come and gone, but a public service announcement released by Sandy Hook Promise is a reminder of the ongoing violence that has become a reality in American schools.

Sandy Hook Promise is the nonprofit organization that ran the PSA. The organization was founded in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, which killed twenty elementary school students and six of the school’s adult staff members. 

The minute-long video starts with teenagers showing off their new school supplies, such as a backpack, colorful folders, and headphones like it was a normal back to school commercial produced by Target or Walmart.

The video then takes a gruesome turn when a student shows off his new shoes while running through a hallway, as gunshots and screaming rings in the background. Two children stand in the doorway of a classroom, holding new colored pencils and scissors presumably to be used as weapons. A girl uses her new jacket to tie the gym doors shut, while another uses her new socks to help a wounded classmate. 

In the final scene, a girl is squatting over a toilet, using her new phone to text “I love you mom.” After she sends the text, the door to the bathroom opens while the sound of footsteps approaches the stall she is in. 

Source: YouTube

At the end of the PSA, white words on a black screen read, “It’s back to school time and you know what that means. School shootings are preventable when you know the signs.” 

Across social media platforms, the video spread like wildfire, as presidential candidates such as Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke, retweeted the video to their millions of followers. Instagram users also reposted it on their stories for all of their followers to see, spreading the video and its message hours after it was posted. 

The PSA has extended to TV, print, social media, and radio, and has donated $2 million in ad and time-space on platforms such as Youtube, CNN, Snapchat, and Sports Illustrated

The goal of the organization, as mentioned from the website is, “To honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation by providing programs and practices that protect children and prevent the senseless, tragic, loss of life.” 

The organization focuses on policy change but also emphasizes the importance of knowing the warning signs that may lead to a shooting. This message can be seen in the additional PSAs the organization has been making since 2014. 

The organization has also instituted free programs to schools where they provided lesson plans, games, and other activities to inform and engage students about social isolation; they hope to minimize and bring awareness to this topic as it may lead one to commit violent actions toward themselves and their classmates.  

Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan Hockley, a 6-year-old killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, is Sandy Hook Promise’s managing director and has been vocal about the organization’s purpose and message. In an interview with MSNBC, Hockley said, “Keeping kids safe is not about guns, it’s about prevention and protection.”

Hockley also said to NowThis News, “The only back to school essential is learning how to know the signs.”

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