School Climate & Safety

12-Year-Old Boy Is Youngest Victim of a Fatal Shooting Inside a School in Recent Years

By Evie Blad — April 01, 2022 1 min read
Law enforcement respond to a shooting at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville, S.C., Thursday March 31, 2022. A student was shot and taken to the hospital Thursday at the South Carolina middle school, authorities said. The shooter, a minor, was taken into custody near Tanglewood Middle School not long after the shooting, Greenville County Sheriff’s Lt. Ryan Flood said in a statement. An initial statement issued by police indicated he was a student at the school.
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A 12-year-old South Carolina boy is the youngest fatal victim of a shooting inside a school building since Education Week started tracking school-related shootings in 2018.

Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson died following a shooting at Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville, S.C., on March 31.

Officials say they plan to pursue murder charges against another unnamed 12-year-old student, who sheriff’s deputies took into custody about 30 minutes after the incident, which left parents waiting for hours in a nearby church to reunite with their children, the Greenville News reported. Deputies also recovered a handgun nearby.

According to Education Week’s tracker, there have been 21 school shootings in the first three months of 2022. If this trend continues, the number of shootings this year would more than double the total number of incidents in a single year since Education Week began its tracking.

Organizations and government agencies that document school violence use differing definitions for a school shooting.

Education Week tracks incidents that meet all the following criteria:

  • where a firearm was discharged;
  • where any individual, other than the suspect or perpetrator, has a bullet wound resulting from the incident;
  • that happen on K-12 school property or on a school bus; and
  • that occur while school is in session or during a school-sponsored event.

While Jackson is the youngest fatality in Education Week’s data from an incident that occurred inside a school building, other young students have been killed or injured on school grounds or at athletic events.

As Education Week has reported, debates over school safety are often sparked by larger-scale rampages that grab headlines. But smaller, targeted incidents of violence— and incidents of community violence that spill onto school grounds or occur at student sporting events— also spark a host of security and school climate considerations for district and school leaders.

Recent Data: School Shootings

In 2018, Education Week journalists began tracking shootings on K-12 school property that resulted in firearm-related injuries or deaths. There is no single right way of calculating numbers like this, and the human toll is impossible to measure. We hope only to provide reliable information to help inform discussions, debates, and paths forward.
Below, you can find big-picture data on school shootings since 2018. (This chart will be updated as new information becomes available.)

See Also: School Shootings This Year: How Many and Where


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