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Back to school is a time when kids are showing off their school supplies. The video message that was released on Wednesday, September 18th begins like any other back to school campaign. Released by The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, the intense public service announcement (PSA) begins students proudly showing off their back to school supplies with upbeat music and then when it transitions to the child thrilled about his headphones, that's when things take a dark turn and the music turns somber as you watch students flee in horror in the background.
The next scene shows a kid running for his life talking about his new sneakers, a young girl tying up door handles with her jacket, a kid smashing out the window with his skateboard and then a girl and boy at a door utilizing supplies as makeshift weapons to defend themselves. The PSA ends with a girl propped up inside a toilet stall writing a text message "I love you mom" and saying "I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom" while you hear in the background the door opening.
It's a terrifying PSA, but that's exactly the point. Sandy Hook parent Nicole Hockley explained, "We don't want people to turn away from it, so pretending it doesn't exist is not helping to solve it." Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed during the shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, appeared on NBC's Today show to debut the PSA. "At the end, the girl with the phone gets me every time," she added.
As CBS reported earlier this year, there have been many shootings in the United States in 2019 so far than there have been days. In February 2018, 17 students were killed during a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, while the lives of 10 children were taken during the Santa Fe High School Shooting in May of last year.