The Power of the PSA


Annael Toledano, Staff Writer

It’s scary to think the world we live in has kids preparing for a school shooting. It’s not fair that kids are going to school out of all places not knowing if they will be coming home. It’s not fair that basic school supplies are now being thought of as self-defense mechanisms. It’s hard to realize that this is the new reality. 

Recently, a public service announcement from  Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-violence nonprofit founded by the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, demonstrated elementary school students using simple school supplies as survival tools. Elementary schoolers are calmly explaining basic items such as pencils, backpacks, and binders as survival necessities. Throughout the PSA students are showing off their back to school supplies while an active shooting is occurring. They’re calmly going about their day as if this is a normal occurrence. Demonstrations such as a boy showing off his new sneakers while running down the hallway attempting to avoid the gunman, a jacket being shown to be the “perfect” item to hold a door closed, a young girl’s sock being used as a tourniquet  to help a friend put pressure on a gunshot wound, a skateboard shown breaking the window as an evacuation plan, scissors not to cut or complete school assignments, but as a self defense weapon, and finally a cell phone not as an item to use for texting friends, but one to text loved ones during a school shooting

The fact that there needs to be a PSA about school shootings says a lot about this society. The text at the end of the Sandy Hook video “School Shootings are preventable when you know the signs” was not elaborated on enough, but a similar video “Can you spot the signs of a school shooter which was rolled out last year, clearly shows everyone’s attention on the wrong signals. It’s hard to believe that in everyday life it is crucial that students are looking out for “tells” (an unconscious action that is thought to betray an attempted deception) and bizarre behavior. Sadly, these videos really do put in perspective students’ reality today. They were created with the sole purpose of creating awareness and the creators are determined to be heard.