AUSTIN, Texas — As the new school year ushers students back into their home classrooms and among friends, school safety remains a top concern for many across Texas. And Mothers Against Greg Abbott sent a message with its back-to-school ad featuring a young boy dressed in body armor — “our children are not soldiers.”
The ad comes in the wake of the Uvalde massacre that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School just days before the 2021-2022 school year came to a close. In the days following the tragic shooting, school districts across Texas re-examined their safety protocols to detect any holes in their systems to prevent another tragedy. This week, the Uvalde school board fired then Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who took the brunt of criticism for his role in the deadly shooting.
The Mothers Against Greg Abbott ad, which debuted on Aug. 15, has over 750,000 views on Twitter, adding another viral video to the organization’s catalog. The video, entitled “First Day of School” opens with a mother assisting her child with the big day by helping him get dressed. It’s the last piece she puts on, the body armour, that has people talking on social media. A country tune plays in the background:
“Little girls and little boys followin’ the rules, gettin’ ready for the first day of school, politicians say they make our land safe and free, they’re supposed to stand for you and me, keep our children safe for you and me, keep our children safe for you and me.”
The ad wraps up with the organization encouraging Texans to “vote for change on Nov. 8.”
Nancy Thompson’s disdain for Gov. Abbott fueled a movement birthing Mothers Against Greg Abbott. Earlier this month, Spectrum News 1 spoke with Thompson about her viral ads and the impact MAGA continues to have in and around Texas. Democratic candidate for governor Beto O’Rourke praised the PAC (political action committee) for its work describing the ads as “amazingly effective.”
“My son was really sick and in the hospital and Greg Abbott said that he was not going to require mask mandates in school and I was really angry because my son was super sick,” Thompson told Spectrum News 1. “The doctors said to be careful he doesn’t catch COVID when he goes back to school. I couldn’t sleep. I was really overwhelmed, and I didn’t know what else to do.”
MAGA raised more than $170,000 in donations through June 30, per its latest campaign finance reports. Thompson hopes to release an ad every week targeting Abbott on multiple issues leading up to Election Day. Abbott has yet to speak out publically about MAGA or the ads. Spectrum News 1 reached out to Abbott''s office for a comment.
“I just imagine a different world for my kids to grow up in than world we have right now and we can’t make that happen unless we try,” Thompson told Yahoo! Life.