Most Horrifying “Stay in School” Ad…Ever?

Readers: Perhaps this ad is an elaborate parody of stay-in-school scare tactics. If so, bravo! If not? Yowza. Anyone who thinks the only way to influence kids is to make them think that the second they are not supervised they are in GRAVE DANGER has been watching too much media aimed at their parents.- L


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35 Responses to Most Horrifying “Stay in School” Ad…Ever?

  1. Emily February 9, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    I’ve seen this PSA, and it makes no sense. Besides the idiocy of testing land mines in a beach area (attractive nuisance, anyone?), most kids that age would be able to read a sign indicating a land mine testing area.

  2. ND February 9, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    Pretty sure it’s a parody. The site listed at the end has only the main page which links to the site of a pair of Australian comedic film makers.

    If not…well, any teenager with a brain can see that they didn’t blow up because they skipped school. They blew up because they decided to sneak through a hole in a fence without first checking the gate. They could have just as easily been picked up for trespassing. And how many teenagers drive VW vans anymore anyway?

  3. Robin from Israel February 9, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    That has got to be a parody, because besides being disgusting, it is also ridiculous. What teenager is actually going to look at that and say, “hey, land mines! I’d better not ditch school”. They’re far more likely to say “idiots, if they live there they’d obviously know to use the other beach down the road. Hey, great idea – let’s go ditch school and head for the beach!” In fact, up until the moment innocent teenagers started blowing up I was sitting here happily reminiscing about my own high school days spent at the lake (no surfboards at Harriman State Park, but the rest is fairly similar, well, except for the blowing up part) and remembering how much fun it was to cut loose occasionally. And yes, we did, and then we all still eventually grew up into functioning, fairly successful adults. Sheesh.

  4. SadButMadLad February 9, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    This is so like the 10:10 global warming campaign video by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and all other Hugh Grant films) called No Pressure were climate change deniers were blown up.

    Wiki page on No Pressure

    When people believe they are so right that the ends justify the means then you know that they are wrong.

  5. C. S. P. Schofield February 9, 2014 at 4:10 am #

    W. T. F?!?!?!?

  6. KH February 9, 2014 at 5:20 am #

    This has got to be a parody… BUT– have you seen the other ad coming out of Australia* comparing feeding your child a hamburger to feeding them poison? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the satire from the reality…

    (*I am assuming this is Australia because where else would they wear school uniforms but be able to go to a nice sunny beach beach? πŸ˜‰ )

  7. KH February 9, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    Oops, should have said– comparing feeding your child a hamburger to shooting them up with drugs…!

  8. Amy February 9, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    Perhaps you should be more responsible in your posts, Lenore. If one reader was so quickly able to identify this as satire it seems irresponsible for you to misrepresent it here to support your argument. I have asked you before to help parents instead of just infuriating people. Give us resources. I have very young children, how about some recommendations for teaching safety without the stranger danger nonsense.

  9. BL February 9, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    Of course, those bombs wouldn’t explode if school wasn’t in session and the youngsters were on their own free time.


  10. SteveS February 9, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Lenore does indicate that it may be satire. That being said, most of the articles online seem to also wonder if this is satire, so I wouldn’t assume anything. Considering that there are a number of over the top PSA’s that try and shock the viewer, this could be real.

    The question in my mind has always been do they really work. I remember making fun of the “just say no” and “this is your brain on drugs” ads back in the 80s and 90s. I later found out they were a huge waste of money and no study was able to show that they had any measurable influence on drug use.

  11. Adam February 9, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    The video was made by Henry & Aaron, an Australian comedy team.

    But apparently, it was not intended as comedy. [Unless there’s some kind of samizdat double-cross going on]

    “This brilliant ad, devised by Perth-based production company Henry & Aaron, was created for the Learn for Life Foundation, a WA based non-profit organisation promoting the importance of education.”

  12. Adam February 9, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    is also a fake.
    So, yes, totally satire/comedy.

  13. Papilio February 9, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    O…..kaaaaaaaayy……….. ??!

    What a bummer in any way. If it really was meant to be funny, they should have stopped after that first girl blew up. If it was meant to be serious.. Err… Right. As if skipping school on a nice summer day automatically means you will die.

    (Hey, is ‘yowza’ negative?)

  14. Tamara February 9, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    I’m not convinced this was only satire, perhaps someone’s ‘real’ message hidden under the guise of parody but wow in poor taste or what. To me, this is just another propaganda film encouraging an agenda of control of society, especially children.

    I honestly heard “this is what happens when you think for yourself” and land mines aside, I wanted to run in there too, but yeah, would have hit the beach down the street as I could, even at 15, understand risks.

  15. CrazyCatLady February 9, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    The “real” message? Scare tactic campaigns are stupid and don’t work because they don’t show reality.

    This intentionally shows off the stupidness of those campaigns. A better “reality” would be getting pulled over for drunken driving and minor in possession and then going to court and court mandated classes. And parents yelling at the kids and grounding them. But scare tactic campaigns don’t focus on what is the most likely thing to happen, they focus on the worst things that can happen, which kids, being smart, know those worst things are not likely to happen so they tune them out.

  16. Miriam February 9, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    This video is horrifying! And anyway, sometimes staying in school is not the best option. EG: See the video about Willow Tufano – Thrifty.

  17. Mark February 9, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    I think reposting this disturbing and repulsive video crossed the lines. I was expecting the video to be horrifying in that the message was figuratively scary, not actually like watching war crimes being committed to innocent kids. Please (a) don’t post link bait without huge warnings about the true nature of the video and (b) don’t post things that you suspect are satire (since this one clearly was).

  18. Emma February 9, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    For those of you commenting on the graphic nature of the video, I just wanted to note that this isn’t as unusual in Australia as it is in the US… I believe it was the Victorian police who spearheaded the first, very graphic, “shock & awe” road safety campaigns in the 90s (and which continue today)… think pedestrian being blindsided by a car 40mph through a residential neighborhood; drunken youths driving home with their mates then slamming into a bridge & then watching as the car explodes with their friends inside.
    These PSAs regularly play on public television stations in Australia & NZ (albeit after most young children should be in bed). So this video isn’t that out of line with those PSAs, although obviously it’s a much, much, much less likely scenario, and kids getting blown up on minefields isn’t a systemic societal problem like drunk driving & speeding is in Australia/NZ.

  19. Jane February 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Real or fake, that was just awesome. But then I am a horror buff… so… yeah.

  20. Emily February 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    I just had another thought–if the young people in that PSA had skipped school, but gathered at one of their houses to play video games instead of going to the beach, then they’d have been safe. So, the message some kids might get would be, “Don’t go to the beach, don’t go outside, stay inside where you’re safe.”

  21. LegalMist February 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Even if it’s not intended as satire, I can vouch for the fact that, at least among my teen’s group of friends, it is making the round on their blogs as a simply hilarious parody ad. No one is taking it seriously. πŸ™‚

  22. Hels February 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    This has got to be one of the stupidest ads I have ever seen. It just lack any logical connections…

  23. Nexist418 February 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    I love it. Then again, I like dark humor.

  24. Coasterfreak February 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    I saw this a few days ago and it made me laugh. I like horror movies and dark humor, so it was kinda right up my alley as far as entertainment is concerned.

    It never crossed my mind to check whether it was satire or not, because it seems equally as likely that it could, or could not be. I knew it was nothing that would ever air on TV in the US, but some other countries are not nearly as strict about violence and gore on TV.

  25. bmj2k February 9, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    Sooo… we should surround schools with minefields to keep them in school?

  26. Lauren February 9, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    That was just offensive. Next time post a “graphic content” warning. I’m an adult but I’m no fan of gratuitous gore.

  27. hineata February 9, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    @Emma – very pertinent. That sort of blood and gore is hardly unusual on our screens, mostly just for laughs, but the PSA messages are pretty graphic here too.

    I have been told a few times that we Ockers and Kiwis have pretty rough senses of humour – my wonderful Baptist mid-western sister-in-law is often horrified by what we find funny. Other American friends have said similar things. Whereas some of what passes as humour in the US seems so insipid …. Different tastes, I guess πŸ™‚

  28. Ian Marsman February 10, 2014 at 3:04 am #

    And that’s why you always leave a note!

  29. Andy February 10, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    I did not found it offensive. It does not look like something meant to be serious and I guess teenagers know that. I do not think teenagers will not scared for death after watching this. We should give them more credit.

  30. Sherri February 10, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    I actually loved this and so did my kids! We are big horror movie fans. This is just the typical horror movie format, where the characters who don’t follow the rules or listen to the warnings die. I don’t think it is meant to be taken too seriously, but it would certainly get the attention of the target audience.

  31. Garry February 10, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    The “Learn for Life” website fronting this video ( is registered to L ELLIOTT, H.C INGLIS, & A.W MCCANN.

    They are comedy writers, and the website is not real. It is a publicity stunt.

  32. anonymous this time February 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Um, gross. And if this is hilarious, then I weep for our world.

  33. bbbbarry February 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    There’s nothing in the ad that suggests they’re skipping school. Could be a lovely summer day.

    Here’s the message of the ad: If these kids hadn’t slacked off in school, they’d be able to READ. Since they couldn’t read, they didn’t read the sign that said “Danger: Explosives.” They just snuck in through the hole in the fence and played, never knowing they were in danger.

    Moral: learn to read, so you can read warning signs. These kids died because they slacked off and now can’t read.

    Sure, it’s extreme, but it’s NOT a message about being unsupervised.

  34. Jen G. February 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Oh-kay. That was weird.

  35. Amanda Matthews February 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    @bbbbarry that’s how I took it too.

    But that still doesn’t make sense, because even my kid that can’t read said “Oh, there was a warning sign! They weren’t suppose to go in there. What does it say?”