Point/ Counterpoint: Should the Sandy Hook Promise PSA be shown?


Sandy Hook Promise honors the life that was lost in the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Every year the nonprofit organization makes a public service announcement warning about the dangers of school shootings. The current year’s PSA, titled “Back to School Essentials,” has mixed reviews. It depicts kids using their new school products to escape a school shooting. The PSA has people asking the question, “Should this be shown?”

Readers should note that the YouTube video of this PSA includes the following caption:

“**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.**”

For more information on Sandy Hook Promise, visit their website at https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/



My perspective is that  the Sandy Hook PSA video needs to be shown. I believe this because teens and adults need to understand the impacts of gun violence. 

This video will help show that we can prevent the tragic loss of students and adults with more awareness; to show those who watch this video that there are ways to help stop the senseless killings of students and adults.

Many children at Sandy Hook Elementary School died due to the lack of safety precautions. This is important because it emphasizes to school districts around the world the importance of measures to keep students safe from gun violence. 

This video helps others understand how to protect their loved ones and those around them from the harmful effects of guns. It can also introduce new ways in which schools can protect their staff and students. One of these strategies is to train professors and staff of schools to keep their students safe when an intruder comes. It will encourage schools to show students what they can do in order to prevent a shooter from inflicting harm upon others, such as the girl who used her jacket to lock a door preventing the shooter from coming in.

This PSA is an effective way to present the issue of gun violence to give the viewers insight on this issue. The video shows ways that students and staff can stop a shooter from harming others.



I understand Sandy Hook’s Foundation is dedicated to speaking out against gun violence, but this year’s PSA should definitely not be shown. There are other ways to prevent gun violence without showing children running for their lives. 

Now, in 2019, is this what children are supposed to accept? In the background, you can make out kids being shot or suffering from a gun. A video like this creates a fear of going to school. 

This PSA normalizes and makes a joke out of the severity that is gun violence. For example, saying that a sock is stretchy enough to use on a wound is a mocking way of delivering the message.

This PSA turns the excitement of going to school into preparation for a gun shoot-out. For example, the kid who was excited about his new skateboard instead has to use it to break a window to escape.

There are many other ways to speak out against gun violence without showing children being shot. For instance, last year’s Sandy Hook PSA was much more appropriate. They didn’t have to show kids bleeding and still spoke to school shootings. The creators were able to convey the signs of gun violence while still catching the viewers’ attention. 

Overall the issue of gun violence is a serious subject that deserves maturity to address. 

What do you think? Weigh in with your opinion in the comments section below.

Featured image to this article is a screenshot from YouTube of the Sandy Hook Promise “Back to School Essentials” PSA.

One thought on “Point/ Counterpoint: Should the Sandy Hook Promise PSA be shown?

  1. I agree partly with both sides, but I think the PSA’s message failed. We unfortunately live in a world where mass shootings do occur so causing awareness is a necessary step, but the execution of the PSA comes across as “We are accepting this as our new reality,” instead of “A call to action with ways of preventive measures.”

    Important piece. Thanks!

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