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PSA from Sandy Hook Promise Hits Home for Area Educators

A new ad airing on televisions across the country is disturbing teachers, parents, and students.

The commercial shows students using their new school supplies to protect themselves against a mass shooter.

The video, called "Back to School Essentials," was released by the nonprofit advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise, which was formed by family members of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. It's grabbing the attention of students and teachers in our area who admit the video is hard to watch.

Joe Moceyunas and Rob Presley, principals at Riverside Junior-Senior High School in Taylor, just watched the video for the first time.

"Seeing that commercial, they see it and think 'Wow, this can possibly happen at Riverside or any other school. No school is safe,'" said Principal Joe Moceyunas, Riverside Junior-Senior High School.

"I have several children and to see the ending video of the student texting the mom, with tears, that actually hits home, because that could be my child in that situation," said Principal Rob Presley, Riverside Junior-Senior High School.

Pittston Area School District Superintendent Kevin Booth says the video hit home for him not just as an educator but as a parent, too.

"As the father of three children, I worry every day when they walk out the door," Booth said.

The video reminded educators we spoke with how things have changed for schools over the years.

"The windows were open. The front doors were always open. People came in, not an issue. Parents came in to pick up students, never questioned anything."

At Pittston Area High School, the ticket booth that used to be used for things like basketball games or school musicals was recently transformed into a security guard's office.

Booth says the video reminded him of the training that's conducted at Pittston Area.

Learning how to use a textbook as a shield, or a sock to plug a bullet hole, is just another daily lesson for students such as Thomas Dessoye.

"They shouldn't be used like that, but just because of the atmosphere, you have to. It's the only thing you have in order to live," said Dessoye, Pittston Area High School senior class president.

The goal of the ad is to promote the "know the signs" campaign, which teaches students and teachers how to recognize warning signs that often foreshadow an individual turning violent.

For more information about those warning signs, click here.


  • Lisa Marshinski

    Oh look, they’re still pushing FEAR. You know how not to live in fear?, buy a firearm, get good training, practice and take your protection into your own hands.

      • Tin foil hat

        There are responsible upstanding adults that would like to be able to protect the defenseless, but people like you keep frothing at the mouth every time the ‘G’ word (gun, not God, although that seems to twist your panties up too) is mentioned. So you’re OK with armed guards in the bank protecting your money, and OK with armed Air Marshals on your flight, but heaven forbid a teacher or random citizen is armed. Got it.

    • Finnegan Pin

      Yes indeed, we can all agree on that. Now how about we honor their deaths by preventing other kids from dying in their classrooms?

      • Tin foil hat

        Yes indeed, we can all agree upon that. Now how about we stop kil.ling kids in classrooms and people at concerts and movie theaters to advance an anti-gun narrative so the government can take full control?

  • Tin foil hat



    Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

    • Lisa Marshinski

      Yup. The gov’t made it legal for news stations to use propaganda and boy oh boy, are the libby stations taking FULL advantage of it! They’ve got so many people brainwashed they can’t think for themselves anymore.

      • Tin foil hat

        You people terrify me how quickly you’re willing to lie down and give up the freedoms and rights our country was founded on. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution have no political affiliation.

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