Sandy Hook Promise’s Emotional School Shooting Commercial


Sandy Hook Promise, a group based around preventing future school shootings and gun violence created by the parents of the killed Sandy Hook children.

By Alli Lipsit , Staff Writer

As September comes to an end, we are finally starting to stop seeing those irritable “back to school” commercials that remind of us of the stressful school year approaching, the warm weather, and nights out with friends at the beach coming to an end.

The commercials are popular among advertisers such as Target, Walmart, Office Max, and other big corporations excited to make money off the incoming students back to school lists.

Luckily, we’ve been in school for a decent amount of time now, so some of the commercials have finally started to stop airing. For this reason, I was pretty surprised to open an Instagram ad yesterday morning beginning with a child talking about the new backpack his mom had purchased him for the new school year.

My first thought? “Ugh, another one of those ads in late September? Weird”.

However, as the commercial progressed, it became apparent that the commercial wasn’t just another back to school ad.

Without revealing too much of the commercial (because I urge everyone reading to go online and look at it for themselves), the back to school commercial shows students talking about the many uses of their new school supplies…just not for school-related purposes.

Instead, the video attempts to shed light on the escalating number of school shootings last year by having the kids use the supplies as ways to save themselves and their fellow classmates during a school shooting.

The video is graphic and hard to watch, and at the beginning, it’s hard to tell whether or not it’s a joke. It’s so hard to watch and so unbelievably mind-blowing that you almost actually hope it’s a joke.

Unfortunately, it’s not. The video really was created to warn students, teachers, parents, and in general, every one of the school shooting epidemic in our country.

What I thought was the most interesting about the video was the company that created it.

The Sandy Hook Promise, and a group of adults, most of whom had children that were murdered in the Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012 where 26 people were killed, with an upsetting number of 20 of those victims being children aged 6-7 years old.  The parents and advocates created the group to “build a national movement of parents, schools and community organizations engaged and empowered to deliver gun violence prevention programs and mobilize for the passage of sensible state and national policy.”

The commercial release is controversial, as it is about a controversial topic, of course: the shocking number of school shootings in the past year. But, it’s essential to remember while watching this video, that the group is not trying to advocate for or against certain gun laws, they’re trying to raise awareness about the signs of a troubled child or adult. I find this especially empowering because for many of these parents, knowing the difference between a disturbed man and a good man with some issues could have saved their children’s lives.

This video is not the only one released by the group. In fact, since 2016, they have released a new video every year stressing the importance of ways to recognize the signs of a troubled child.

The video truly is emotional and though it’s only a minute long, at times hard to watch.

But it’s also empowering, and I think everyone should take the time to watch the video because it really could save a life.