Sandy Hook Promise’s “Simply Joking” PSA Is a Should-See

Every year, fewer communities can say they haven’t been touched by some form of gun violence. With our own staff members in Connecticut (Sandy Hook Elementary), Colorado (Columbine High School), and Texas (Robb Elementary, Santa Fe High School), these tragedies are never far from our minds at We Are Teachers.

Sandy Hook Promise’s “Just Joking” PSA

This week, Sandy Hook Promise issued a chilling and powerful new PSA focused on an angle of prevention that’s been in the spotlight recently: taking threats of violence seriously.

Their “Just Joking” PSA opens with an array of popular comedians delivering lines during stand-up routines.

Billy Eichner: “So … first day of school, last day of your lives.”

Wanda Sykes: “Some sh**’s going to go down, and I don’t think you’re going to like it.”

David Cross: “I am going to kill … all of you.”

The comedians, skilled in timing and crowd work, draw laughter from their live audiences. They’re smiling, after all. These sound like jokes.

But at a some point, the mood shifts.

It’s barely a surprise but chilling all the same when these words appear on the screen:

“These are all real threats made by school shooters. But everyone thought they were joking.”

The video goes on to feature more quotes, each in stark contrast to the comedian’s playful delivery, each a painful reminder of what could have been prevented.

Watch it here:

Sandy Hook Promise reports that in four out of five school shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the attacker’s plan but failed to report it. Here are some other ways that teachers can help equip students to respond to threats they might learn.

Know the warning signs

Sandy Hook Promise’s Know the Signs guide teaches children and adults how to identify possible warning signs and get help.

Empower students to say something

Without prior training, students might not feel safe reporting their peers. Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something program educates students on Trusted Adults, how to use an anonymous reporting system, and more. Learn more about bringing Say Something resources to your school community here.

The year 2023 is on track to set a record for the most mass shootings in U.S. history. It’s more important than ever that we do everything we can to prevent them.

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