GRAPHIC video teaches students how to survive shooting massacres in American schools by turning socks into tourniquets, and using skateboards to flee from killers.
The chilling footage shows children using standard back-to-school items like scissors, pencils and even new trainers.
Backed by family members of pupils massacred at a Connecticut elementary school, it debuted during NBC’s Today Show and had tens of thousands of online views within hours on Wednesday.
The safety video, ‘Back-to-school Essentials’, teaches kids and adults how to recognise warning signs to recognise a potential mass murderer in their midst, and intervene to prevent mass shootings.
It was released by Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organisation.
A gunman slaughtered 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where the non-profit organisation is based, in one of the deadliest public school shootings in US history on December 14, 2012.
The short video shows students initially settling in for the new school year, talking about their new binders, school bags and headphones.
All of a sudden, a boy’s new trainers help him to run to safety down a corridor, as screams and shots can be heard ringing out in the background.
A girl hails her jacket as a real “must-have” as she uses the clothing to tie a gym hall door handles secure.
Another boy, brandishing his “cool” new skateboard, uses it to smash out of a classroom window.
Children are shown jumping out of windows to dash away from the school buildings.
One young girl, clutching a pair of red-handled scissors, says: “Scissors really come in handy in our class”, while a boy opposite her adds: “these coloured pencils too.”
The video takes a bloody turn as a ‘wounded’ student clutches their leg, as a fellow pupil takes off one of her socks.
Describing them as “real lifesavers” she uses one as a tourniquet to stem the blood.
A particularly heartbreaking moment shows a crying girl cowering in a bathroom, texting her mother while she explains: “I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom”, as menacing footsteps can be heard approaching.
The harrowing video has had a thumbs-up on social media, although some concerned people noted, “this is our new normal, but it shouldn’t be.”
Many hailed it as “incredibly powerful”.
USA Today says that 2018 was the deadliest on record for school shootings, with more than 80 dying or injured.
The publication adds that since Columbine, when 12 pupils and one teacher were killed by pupils Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, in April 1999, “at least 228,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school”.
Sandy Hook Promise
Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit organisation led by family members of children massacred at a Connecticut, US, elementary school in 2012.
It says that “school shootings are not inevitable. They are preventable.
“Millions of children are back to school.
“And we know our programmes can protect them from school shootings, violence and other harmful acts.
“But we can only expand our lifesaving work if people like you join us and take action.
“Together, we can save more lives.”
The group adds that: “Gun violence and school shootings are a uniquely American epidemic.
“An estimated 4.6 million American children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked.
“The majority of individuals with diagnosed mental illness do not engage in violence against others.”
Sandy Hook adds 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.
“In a comprehensive study of school shootings from 1974 to 2000 conducted by the Secret Service and Department of Education, 93 per cent of school shooters planned the attack in advance.”
Guns used in about 68% of gun-related incidents at schools were taken from the home, a friend or a relative.
Mass school shootings in the US 2018-2019
Mass shootings in American schools from 2018-2019 include:
- January 23, 2018, Marshall County High School: Two students, Preston Cope and Bailey Holt, both 15, were killed while 14 others were shot and four more were injured. Student Gabriel Ross Parker was arrested within minutes of the shooting, says the Courier Journal.
- February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: Seventeen pupils and staff were killed by a teen gunman. Another 17 were wounded by expelled former pupil Nikolas Cruz, 19, in Parkland, near Miami in south Florida.
- March 20, 2018, Great Mills High School in Maryland: A male student, 17, fatally shot a female student, and wounded another before shooting himself in the head.
- May 18, 2018, Santa Fe High School, Texas: Ten people were killed and 13 wounded. Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, was later named by law officials as the attacker.
- April 25, 2019, Wynbrooke Elementary School, Georgia: Ten children wounded after being shot – a suspect has since been arrested, and charged with 10 counts of aggravated assault
- May 7, 2019, STEM School Highlands Ranch, Georgia: Alec McKinney, 16, and Devon Erickson, 18, have been charged with murder and attempted murder in a mass shooting at the school, which resulted in one death and eight injured.
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