A ‘Back To School’ Ad From The Parents Of Sandy Hook Victims Has People Talking

It’s mid-September, which means that students across the United States are heading back to school for the new year. This usually means learning new subjects, playing new sports, getting back together with old friends and making new ones, and figuring out what the next steps are. As the increasingly fraught history of school mass shootings in America suggests, though, the beginning of the school year also means a return to the ever-contentious gun control debate. To spur this even further, Sandy Hook Promise released a new “Back-To-School Essentials” ad that’s making waves online.

“Survive the school year with these must-have back to school essentials,” the PSA’s logline reads. It also includes a wholly necessary cautionary note: “Please note that this PSA contains graphic content related to school shootings that may be upsetting to some viewers. If you feel that this subject matter may be too difficult for you, you may choose not to watch this video.”

The video is upsetting, of course, but its message is quite clear. It’s also meant to get people talking, and judging by the reaction on social media, that’s exactly what happened.

Founded by the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Sandy Hook promise aims “to create a culture engaged in preventing shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools.” They also describe themselves as “a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the ‘human side’ of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others.”