Thursday, November 1st, 2018

New Data Shows 2018 Was the Worst Year for School Gun Violence

Posted by Rachael Ballard Filed under: *Hot Topics*, Crisis Response, Student Violence, Student Well-Being

The Advanced Thinking in Homeland Security (HSx) program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) has published a free database of school shooting information called the K-12 School Shooting Database. According the website, the database documents “each and every instance a gun is brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims, time, day of the week (e.g., planned attack, accidental, domestic violence, gang-related)” dating back to 1970. The database pulls information from more than 25 different sources, including peer-reviewed studies, government reports, mainstream media, non-profits, private websites, blogs, and heavily researched crowd-sourced lists.

Surprising Statistics

  • The data shows that 2018 has the most school gun violence with 85 documented incidents and 53 documented deaths (at the time of this publication). The second-highest number of documented incidents was 59 in 2006. In almost 50 years, the lowest documented number of incidents has been 11 in 1976 and 12 in 2011. The last time the death toll was close to 2018’s record was in 1993 with 39 deaths, and then 2012 with 37 deaths.
  • Since 1970, California has experienced the most documented incidents with 157, with Texas in a close second with 130 and Florida in third with 87. North Dakota has only one documented incident and Idaho, Maine, and Vermont have two documented incidents.
  • More than 900 incidents occurred at high schools. Elementary schools were the second-most frequent school type to experience an incident with 174 document incidents and middle school was third with 117.

This data, while it is an unfortunate truth, can be helpful as districts plan their crisis prevention and response programming. To see the entire dataset in graph form, click here. To download the data, click here. This is updated daily.

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