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Five Years After Parkland, School Shootings Are More Frequent and Deadly

In the aftermath of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018, many Americans hoped that, finally, something would be done to address the problem of gun violence in the nation’s schools.

Despite the outpouring of grief and calls for action that followed the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, school shootings continue to occur with alarming frequency. While progress has been made in some areas, such as increased funding for school security and mental health resources, there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety and well-being of students and educators in schools across the country.

On Jan. 6, 2023, in Newport News, Va., a 6-year-old student is alleged to have intentionally shot his teacher. He is among the youngest school shooting perpetrators dating back to 1970.

And as criminologists who track any time a gun is fired at a K-12 school, including deliberate attacks, suicides, accidental shootings, gang-related violence and shootings at after-hours school events, we know this case is only the tip of the iceberg.

School Shootings Got More Common, Not Rarer, After Parkland

Since Parkland, there have been over 900 shootings in K-12 school settings according to our data. Thirty-two were indiscriminate attacks apparently driven by the intent to kill as many people as possible, including mass casualty events at Oxford High School, in Oxford, Mich., in November 2021 and at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022.

School gun violence takes many forms. In January 2023, five students were wounded during shootings at high school basketball games in five different states. These shootings at school games are a “quiet phenomenon” that gets little national attention. Based on our data on more than 260 shootings at sports events, most schools do not have a plan for them, such as what an announcer should say or how people can evacuate.

Another emerging challenge for school leaders is the 264 fights in five years that escalated into shootings. Unlike any planned attacks, these cases were simple disputes that turned deadly because students were armed at school.

There were a record

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