Adults get active shooter lessons from a surprising, but unfortunately well-qualified teacher.

“If there was an active shooter, you’d all be dead,” Kayleigh, an elementary school-aged girl introduced as an “expert” bluntly tells a group of adult workers assembled in their office mail room for a team building event.

“When you talk out loud, the shooter can tell where you are and where you’re hiding,” she continues. “Sometimes we play the game ‘who can stay quietest the longest’ so we all remember.”

The adults look uncomfortable and about as shocked and disturbed as can be expected that an innocent-looking child is instructing them on how to try and protect themselves by pushing tables and chairs against doors, placing paper over windows, and crouching on toilet seats in the bathroom. Then we see what was likely flashing in their minds as Kayleigh spoke — young children carrying out these actions in a classroom.


“Try to listen for things that could help the police. For example; if you hear a lot of bangs like, ‘BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG’ the shooter might be down the hall. Or if you hear louder ones like, ‘BANG… BANG… BANG…’ he could be right outside your door,” she continues.

“And you can’t cry,” she adds. “It gives away your position and your hiding spot.”

The PSA concludes with an eerie song that Kayleigh explains was taught to her by her teacher to makes sure she and her peers wouldn’t forget what to do if there was an active shooter in their school.

“Lockdown lockdown let’s all hide. Lock the doors and stay inside. Crouch on down. Don’t make a sound. And don’t cry or you’ll be found,” she sings.

While this video may seem a little dramatic, it’s not. According to March For Our Lives, which advocates for gun control, 95% of public school children in the United States practice lockdown drills like Kayleigh describes in the video.

Gun control is not a new public policy issue, but it’s been gaining momentum lately because of the number of recent mass shootings. Unsurprisingly, it’s become a hot topic among candidates for the 2020 presidential election.

Last week President Trump addressed the allegedly flailing NRA and also "unsigned" the United States from a United Nations arms treaty which helped keep firearms out of the hands of human rights abusers.

On the other end of the spectrum, Democrat presidential candidates California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have made gun reform a significant part of their political agendas.

"I am tired of seeing street-level shrines to children who have been murdered — candles and teddy bears," Booker recently declared, calling gun control a public health issue. "I'm tired of going to funeral after funeral when the most perverse, unnatural things happen where parents bury children."

Obviously March for Our Lives stands with the latter candidates. Their PSA urges viewers to sign a gun reform petition advocating for laws that will prevent guns from falling into dangerous hands.

“Let the Senate know you want S. 42, the Background Check Expansion Act, passed so we can close gun sale loopholes and ditch mass shooting class,” they wrote on their website. “The fight for universal background checks is the most important fight for gun violence prevention yet, and 97% of Americans support it.”

No matter how you feel about the second amendment, can’t we all agree that thorough background checks are absolutely necessary, and that getting access to a potentially deadly weapon should be considered a privilege and not a right?

While not every one of these tragedies — Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland, the California synagogue, just to name a handful. — could have been prevented with tighter gun control laws, it’s very possible that many would have been. Just think about how many lives could have been saved if just one of the shooters behind these massacres hadn’t been able to get a gun.

To let the Senate know you want S. 42, the Background Check Expansion Act, passed, sign the petition by clicking here.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

The year 2018 was a pivotal one in the produce industry, the Red Delicious was supplanted as the most popular apple in America by the sweeter, crisper Gala.

It was only a matter of time. The Red Delicious looked the part of the king of the apples with its deep red, flawless skin. But its interior was soft, mealy, and pretty bland. The Red Delicious was popular for growers because its skin hid any bruises and it was desired by consumers because of its appearance.

But these days it's having a hard time competing with the delectable crunch provided by the Gala, honeycrisp, and Fuji.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."