Sandy Hook Promise releases jarring back-to-school PSA depicting anxiety around school shootings

Sandy Hook Promise releases an impactful back-to-school PSA depicting the fear that students face while heading back to their classrooms. (Photo: Sandy Hook Promise)

A powerful back-to-school PSA by Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is depicting the fear and anxiety that students face as they re-enter their classrooms with supplies and essentials for the new year and discover alternate uses for them during a school shooting.

The one-minute seven-second video created by the Newton, Conn.-based nonprofit organization was released on Wednesday morning. Since its release, it’s made an impact.

“SHP and BBDO New York have produced the new PSA video that starts off as a cheery and often-familiar back-to-school ad but slowly unfolds to highlight students using everyday back-to-school items to survive a shooting, shedding light on the gruesome reality that students face,” a statement by SHP reads.

Throughout the video, viewers hear a student boasting about his new sneakers as he runs from gunshots, see another using a sock as a tourniquet on a wounded classmate and watch a boy use his new skateboard to break a classroom window to escape the building.

The video ends with a girl crying in a bathroom stall as she texts “I love you mom” before the door opens and footsteps are heard.

“I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom,” she says.

SHP’s statement reveals that the intent of the video is “to bring awareness of this horrific ‘new normal’ and the stress that students face on a daily basis.”

SHP didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for further comment. Its online statement urges students and adults to look at the Know the Signs brochure and program to protect children from violence.

“We cannot accept school shootings as the new normal in our country. Our goal with this PSA is to wake up parents to the horrible reality that our children endure,” co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, Nicole Hockley, said. “Gone are the days of viewing back-to-school as just a carefree time, when school violence has become so prevalent. However, if we come together to know the signs, this doesn’t have to be the case. I hope that parents across the country will join me to make the promise to stop this epidemic.”

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