It’s that time of year again: the start of a brand new school year. While it should be an exciting time for both kids and parents with a promise of new beginnings and a fresh start, it’s sadly become a time to prepare for the worst for some.
Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-violence nonprofit founded by the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012, released a chilling but powerful back-to-school themed PSA Wednesday morning.
Familiar school supplies such as backpacks, pencils, scissors and gym socks serve as emergency survival tools against gun violence in the PSA.
Titled, “Back to School Essentials,” it starts by depicting young students happily showing off their new school supplies for the year before the tone shockingly veers into something much darker. The students’ joyous and bright demeanors quickly shift to reality as they are forced to use their supplies to defend themselves, and aid their classmates against an active shooter in their school.
The video reflects a very dark reality for hundreds of kids and parents in America that have been affected by the country’s careless lack of gun control legislation. More than 400 people have been shot on school campuses in the country since the Sandy Hook shooting. Last year marked the deadliest on record - at least 83 people died or were injured in active shooter incidents.
With numbers like that, it’s safe to say that school shooting situations have been normalized by both legislation and us as citizens. Instead of legal changes being made, we’re ridiculously being taught to defend ourselves in these situations, raising nothing but fear and anxiety amongst all of us.
While upsetting and even triggering for some, this PSA is incredibly moving and serves as a powerful call-to-action to American legislation. We have a right to feel safe and secure, especially in a place where our kids are simply excited to learn and show off their new sneakers.
**Trigger warning** The linked video depicts graphic scenes of trauma, school shootings and gun violence.
Link to the Sandy Hook Promise PSA: