Story by Gabriela Sanchez Del Pozo Clarke, Columnist
Photo courtesy of Canva
The new Sandy Hook Promise Foundation commercial about “back to school essentials” really hits hard. Many people have criticized it, but I think it is just what we need in today’s gun culture climate. It is important, due to the increasing number of school shootings in the United States in the past few years, to spread awareness, and show that unfortunately, being prepared for shooting is a priority over your math test.
The commercial was made by the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, which consists of the community impacted by the Sandy Hook school shooting of 2012. In the ad there are kids showing their back to school essentials such as backpacks, scissors, notebooks, folders, headphones, etc.
It seems like a pretty innocent and basic idea, but they do not use these items for normal everyday activities in school. They use them in serious life or death situations. From a little girl using her backpack to shield herself from the shooter, the little boy with a pair of scissors ready to defend himself from an attacker, to a girl using her new gym socks to stop another person from bleeding out. The most impactful scene for me was a little girl hiding in the bathroom stall crying while texting her mom “I love you”.
This video may be an unexpected slap in the face, but it is just what society needs to wake up. There have been 238 mass shootings in the United States alone this year. Do we want the number in 2020 to increase? I think the commercial made the point that the foundation wanted to make.
The 2019 back to school season is not just about being prepared for class, but also being prepared for a shooting.
No other country has such a severe problem with school shootings as the United States. The Sandy Hook parents do not want more kids to die. Any kid going back to school in the U.S. has to be prepared for this. We live in a world where we teach our kids that this is normal and prepare them to expect it. In an ideal future, kids would think this could never happen in a school.
This year the Sandy Hook Foundation tried to use shock factors in their commercial. I think it worked because it went viral and it allows people to talk about it. It opens their eyes to the world we are living in. As the number of school shootings goes up each year, and more schools fall victim, I think something has to change. That is why the commercial had to be done, to unite people to fight for a cause that should be important to everyone. Protecting innocent people.
The reality is, although this commercial may be hard to watch for some and is extremely gruesome, it is important. As a new school year begins, children need to be prepared. When they go to school, their focus is not just who will be in their classes and what outfits to wear, it is also what to do in the case of a school shooting. Although many people think the commercial is unnecessary or that it promotes shootings, I think it is just what we need in today’s gun culture climate. As school shootings have increased in the last couple of years, students and parents need to be aware of the possibility that it could happen to them.