Guns at School: After 41 Deaths & Injuries in 2018, What We’ve Learned From Tracking Six Months of School Shootings
is currently monitoring incidents of gun-related injuries and deaths in schools throughout 2018. Keep this page bookmarked for the latest updates. Additionally, below is an interactive map that displays incidents where a firearm was discharged, resulting in a wound or fatality on school property.
In the first month of 2018 alone, multiple incidents involving firearms occurred in schools, such as a shooting in Kentucky that resulted in two deaths and 18 injuries. These events drew attention to the prevalence of gun violence on American campuses. Since then, tragic mass shootings in Florida and Texas have reignited the intense debate surrounding gun laws and strategies to ensure student safety.
To provide context regarding the prevalence of gun violence in schools, has created a map to track firearm incidents at K-12 schools and universities that result in injury or death. As of the six-month mark in 2018, the map reveals that there have been at least 41 deaths and 74 injuries stemming from such incidents in educational institutions. This tally goes beyond mass shootings and includes scenarios like a shooting during a university party after a fight broke out, a teacher accidentally firing a gun during a public safety class, and four student suicides.
Despite the varying scale and motives behind these incidents, they do share certain similarities. In all cases of fatal incidents, the identified suspect is male. This trend holds true for mass school shootings, aligning with the patterns seen in mass shootings outside of educational settings.
Moreover, within the first 13 campus firearm incidents resulting in a fatality in 2018, it has been determined that the suspected shooter was a student at the institution where the violence occurred in 9 out of 13 cases. Often, gunmen who are not students still have close connections to the campuses. For example, the suspected shooter in the Parkland, Florida shooting had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School prior to the attack. Similarly, the suspect involved in the shooting that resulted in the death of a Winston-Salem State University football player during a party on the Wake Forest University campus was identified as a former Winston-Salem State University student.
This map includes school shootings where a person was injured or killed on campus. Incidents resulting in injury are denoted by blue labels, while incidents resulting in death are labeled in red. The most recent incident is represented by a larger icon. By clicking on the icons, visitors can access details about each specific incident.
Nadine Connell, an associate professor of criminology and the director of the Center for Crime and Justice Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, explained that the occurrence of campus shootings being carried out by students is not surprising. In an email, she stated that attacks on schools by external individuals are rare, similar to how very few places are targeted by strangers. Connell drew a parallel with domestic violence, explaining that people often attack their own families rather than strangers’. She emphasized the importance of recognizing the relationship between a shooting suspect and the school, mentioning her ongoing project in building a database of all school shootings in the U.S. since 1990. This database aims to assist law enforcement and school leaders in gaining a better understanding of the causes of school violence and developing strategies to prevent future attacks.
While media reports tend to emphasize the threat of outsiders entering schools to commit acts of violence, Connell pointed out that such scenarios are not as common. The mass shooting in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed and 17 were injured, is a notable exception. The shooter had previously attended the school but was not supposed to be present on the day of the shooting. Connell argued that the rhetoric of constant threat is flawed, as it is as unlikely as someone forcefully entering one’s home since the risk is extremely low.
Connell believes that the Parkland incident will further perpetuate the notion that outsiders pose a disproportionate threat to schools. A retired Secret Service agent, in an interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, even claimed to have warned administrators about vulnerability to an outside threat two months prior to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Despite concerns about the frequency of on-campus shootings, Connell emphasized that they remain statistically infrequent. She stated that schools are still the safest places for children. According to a recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics on school crime and safety, during the 2014-15 school year, there were 1,168 homicides of children aged 5 to 18 in the U.S., with only 20 occurring at school. Over the past twenty years, less than 3 percent of youth homicides and less than 1 percent of youth suicides took place in schools.
This year, there have been instances of gunfire resulting in injury or death in K-12 schools. Among these incidents, there was one reported at Lincoln High School in Philadelphia during the 2015-16 school year.
Mass school shootings are rare occurrences that often spark intense policy debates. In 2018, there were two notable incidents at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and Santa Fe High School in Texas, which accounted for over half of the firearm-related deaths on school campuses. There were no other incidents in 2018 that resulted in three or more fatalities, although there was a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky in January that claimed two lives and injured 18 others.
is closely monitoring gun-related injuries and deaths at schools throughout the year. You can see a comprehensive list of reported incidents on our website. If there are any school incidents that you believe should be included but we have missed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to bookmark our website for the latest updates on school incidents involving the discharge of a firearm that results in a wound or fatality on school property.
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