Courtesy of USA Today:

It’s not your typical TV public service announcement.

In what looks like a typical American middle school, a boy flaunts orange zippers on his backpack, flashing a smile full of braces. Then, somewhere down the hall — Pop. Pop. Pop. Students are running for their lives. A young girl hides in a bathroom stall, crying silently as she types “I love you mom” on her smartphone.

This 67-second ad, which debuted Wednesday, is the latest in a series of gut-wrenching videos by the school safety advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise. The chilling video entitled “Back to School Essentials” shows kids dealing with America’s new normal — the threat of gun violence in everyday life.

The year 2018 was the deadliest on record for school shootings — at least 83 died or were injured in active shooter incidents. Since Columbine, at least 228,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school.

Yeah, this one literally knocked the wind out of me. 

Some may want to write this off as an exaggeration but that is wishful thinking. 

I deal with high school kids every day, and this is exactly the kind of thing that is on their minds. 

One kid I know refuses to put anything in his locker or take off his jacket during school hours out of fear that he may have to run for his life at some point before the bus arrives to take him home. 

And I have to tell you these lockdown drills that happen about once a month or more are not helping to put his mind at ease. 

We cannot continue like this or PTSD will become as common a childhood diagnosis as ADHD.