PSA Depicting School Shooting Reflects Public Fears, Not Numbers
Added 09-19-19 09:20:02pm EST - “A nonprofit's intense new public service announcement depicting children in a school shooting reflects public fears on the subject that are out of step with the rareness of violence in schools.” - Freebeacon.com
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A nonprofit's intense new public service announcement depicting children in a school shooting reflects public fears on the subject that are out of step with the rareness of violence in schools.
Sandy Hook Promise's PSA "Back to School Essentials" debuted Wednesday, showing students using typical items for survival as a shooting takes place. A girl makes her sock into a tourniquet for a wounded classmate. A boy uses his new skateboard to break a window and escape. It ends with a girl cowering in a bathroom, tearfully texting her mother as the shooter approaches.
The disturbing spot reflects the anxieties of parents and students alike. A 2018 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found 57 percent of U.S. teens, including majorities of both boys and girls, are either "very" or "somewhat" worried that a shooting could happen at their school.
An even higher proportion, 63 percent, of those teens' parents express the same worry. This represents a substantial increase over a 2017 study, which found 36 percent of parents thought it "highly likely" their local high school would experience a "gun incident" in the next three years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average rate of multiple-victim school-associated homicides between 1994 and 2017 was about one in 12.5 million. In 2018, there were 55 gun-violence deaths in schools—a number which, while lamentable, is roughly on par with the historical average for lighting strike deaths. Fifty-five may be an overcount, as such estimates tend to rely on a fairly broad definition of school shooting—narrower, more intuitive measures put the true number even lower.
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