Friday marks the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.
Each year at this time, Sandy Hook Promise, the group formed by family members of some of those killed in the massacre, releases a devastating PSA to help people recognize the signs of someone who might use violence in school.
This year is no different.
“Some will applaud the ad’s empathy and its focus on the patterns of behavior that can turn students from unstable to violent. But others will see it as putting too much of an onus on the potential victims,” AdWeek says.
By humanizing the killer in the most direct way yet, “Point of View” is likely to fuel the kinds of debates already happening online about outcasts, bullying and how positivity could prevent disaster. As one school shooting survivor in Parkland, Fla., said on Twitter: “I’m tired of people blaming me because I didn’t give the shooter a hug.”
That’s certainly not the angle of this Sandy Hook Promise spot, though the nonprofit has also been vocal about the role that social isolation plays in driving students toward depression, self-harm or school violence. Sandy Hook Promise’s “Know the Signs” program includes four key areas: “Start with Hello,” “Say Something,” “Signs of Suicide,” and “Safety Assessment and Intervention” (most of which come into play over the course of the video).
The PSA leaves the viewer with more questions than answers, AdWeek notes. Like school shootings.