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Sandy Hook Promise PSA Aims to Prevent ‘Tomorrow’s’ School Shooting

The newest PSA from Sandy Hook Promise depicts a news broadcast about a school shooting that will happen tomorrow and urges viewers to learn warning signs.

The PSA was released three days before the five year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit foundation that uses educational programs to help prevent acts of gun violence, released a PSA on Monday urging viewers to learn the warning signs often exhibited by those who may act violently towards themselves or others and to take action to prevent violent acts.

The PSA, titled “Tomorrow’s News”, was released nearly five years to the day after the Sandy Hook tragedy. The video depicts a local news broadcast about a school shooting that will happen tomorrow. The segment opens with a reporter and the headline “STUDENT TO CARRY OUT SHOOTING TOMORROW”.

“We’re at the scene of tomorrow’s shooting where a 15-year-old will kill four children, two adults and then turn the gun on himself,” says the reporter.

She then interviews several people, including a young male student who says the shooter told others that his dad kept a gun in his closet and had talked about using it on the people that bullied him.

“Tomorrow I’ll probably say ‘I wish I told someone,’” continues the boy.

The shooter’s teacher says that tomorrow, she’ll “probably point out that something seemed off with him since the beginning of the school year”.

Then, perhaps in the most powerful part of the PSA, the reporter interviews a mother holding her young daughter who is a student at the school. She is asked how she will explain tomorrow’s school shooting to her daughter.

“Actually, I won’t get to explain it to her because she won’t make it,” responds the mother.

The PSA closes with the words: “You can stop tomorrow’s shootings if you recognize the warning signs today.”

Two of Sandy Hook Promise’s co-founders, Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley, lost their children to the gun violence at Sandy Hook. Barden’s 7-year-old son, Daniel, and Hockley’s 6-year-old son, Dylan, were killed.

“It speaks to the whole idea that if you could go to the day before, you could do something about it. So consider every day the day before, and be looking for those warning signs, and do what you can to take that next step,” Barden says of the PSA.

2016 Sandy Hook Promise PSA Promotes Awareness

Monday’s PSA comes a year after the organization released its original PSA titled ‘Evan’.

The PSA follows the story of a student named Evan who is searching for a mystery girl at his high school who he has been writing notes back and forth with on a library desk.

Towards the end, the two students find each other but are interrupted by another student who walks into a school gymnasium filled with students and cocks an assault rifle.

“While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting. But no one noticed,” captions the video.

The PSA then goes through the footage again, slowing it down and pointing out the troubling scenes unfolding in the background involving another male student. He can be seen reading a magazine about guns, getting bullied by his locker and researching guns on the internet in the school library.

The video has received over 10 million YouTube views and made Adweek’s list of the 10 best ads of 2016.

Both PSAs were worked on pro-bono by advertising agency BBDO, according to Adweek.

“Last year’s ad was more about awareness, this year is more a turn to action,” says BBDO New York copywriter Peter Alsante.

In “Tomorrow’s News”, the reporter also interviews two police officers who say they expect someone to tell them after the shooting that the gunman had been talking about doing it for weeks on social media.

The two officers depicted in the video are real-life police officers, one of whom was a first responder at a shooting in California.

“The closer we could get to reality in the way we create the story, the more we could remind people that this is reality,” says Alsante.

Goals of Sandy Hook Promise PSA

Sandy Hook Promise hopes to raise $1 million for its programs through donations received in response to Monday’s PSA, according to the Hartford Courant. A donation link has been added to the videos.

The campaign also includes a new song recorded by singer Sheryl Crow. The song, titled “The Dreaming Kind”, debuted today on ABC’s Good Morning America and was penned by Crow to mark the fifth year anniversary of the shooting. It is available as a name-your-price download with proceeds going directly to the Sandy Hook Promise.

“The extraordinary work this organization does to educate and protect our nation from further bloodshed gives me hope for a better tomorrow,” Crow wrote in a news release. “I hope this song will inspire the same feeling in those who hear it.”

Since 2014, Sandy Hook Promise has trained over 2.5 million people to recognize signs of dangerous behavior and how to take action.

Sandy Hook Promise invites Facebook users to join them on Thursday in a “moment of silence” on Facebook Live to commemorate the fifth anniversary.

About the Author

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Amy Rock is Campus Safety's senior editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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