Sandy Hook Promise Founder Opens Up About Emotional Back-to-School PSA

KNX 1070
September 18, 2019 - 6:10 pm

KNX In-Depth hosts Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson spoke exclusively with Mark Barden, the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise, about a new back-to-school PSA that he directed.

Barden's 7-year-old son Daniel was shot and killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting.  

Sandy Hook Promise released the PSA titled "Back-To-School Essentials" Wednesday. The emotional and graphic ad starts with kids talking the cool new gear they were given for the start of school year, but then the ad takes a dark turn. 

"This PSA is designed to evoke emotion that sparks serious conversations about prioritizing violence prevention in schools, rather than continually focusing on reactionary measures or practicing for violence that we 'expect' will happen," Barden told CBS News. 

"In our video, we show the awful, painful reality that children across the country face as school shootings become more frequent. But we also make it clear that it doesn't have to be this way: When we teach students to Know the Signs, and empower them to report warning signs to trusted adults, we can prevent school shootings and save lives," Barden said. 

Sandy Hook Promise was founded by several families impacted by the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting in 2012. The anti-gun advocacy group is hoping Congress will act on the epidemic of gun violence in the country. 

Warning: This video includes some disturbing images.