School Climate & Safety

School Shootings Reach Record Level, Data Show

By Evie Blad — October 05, 2022 2 min read
A Tulsa Police officer films the area outside of the McLain High School football stadium after a shooting during a football game Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 in Tulsa, Okla. Police say a teenager was killed and another was wounded in a shooting at a high school homecoming football game in Oklahoma Friday night.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

There have been 35 school shootings that resulted in injuries or deaths so far in 2022, more than in any single year since Education Week began tracking the incidents in 2018.

With two and a half months left in the year, that surpasses the previous record of 34 shootings that Education Week tracked in all of 2021.

The record total comes as state and federal lawmakers continue to debate responses to the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers died after a gunman barged into their building.

The latest shooting occurred in Dorchester, Mass., where police say a 17-year-old student shot and injured a 17-year-old classmate in front of their high school in the morning on Oct. 4.

Education Week’s school shooting tracker counts incidents where at least one person, other than the individual firing the weapon, is injured by gunfire on school property when school is in session or during a school-sponsored event.

Events on the tracker often differ from the mass active shooter attacks that are typically the focus of school safety debates. School-sponsored events could include evening activities, like football games, and injured persons may or may not be students.

In the second-most-recent incident, for example, a 17-year-old student was killed and three people—another 17-year-old boy, a 20-year-old woman, and a 9-year-old girl—were wounded in a shooting outside a stadium at a high school football homecoming game Sept. 30 in Tulsa, Okla.

Tallying the rise in school shooting incidents

Other organizations use varying criteria to determine what constitutes a school shooting, some narrower and some broader than Education Week’s. But various measures show the incidents have increased this year.

In July, the U.S. Department of Education reported 93 school shootings with injuries in the 2020-21 school year, the most in a school year since 2000–01. The agency counts “incidents in which a gun is brandished or fired on school property or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims, time of day, day of the week, or reason.”

School shootings—however they are defined and counted—almost always stir up debates about what, if anything, could be done to prevent such violence.

After the Uvalde shooting, Texas and federal lawmakers fell into familiar partisan camps, with Democrats floating proposals about raising the minimum purchasing age for firearms or restricting sales of powerful rifles and Republicans calling for more police and security measures in school buildings.

Congress later passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which President Joe Biden signed in June. It included new gun-sale restrictions and new funding for school mental health programs.

In a national poll of educators conducted by the EdWeek Research Center June 8-14, weeks after the Uvalde shooting, more educators supported new gun safety measures—like stronger background checksand mental health resources—than “hardening schools” with added security features, arming school staff, or increasing funding for school police.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Explainer Restorative Justice in Schools, Explained
What is restorative justice, and how can it be implemented in schools?
1 min read
Generic school hallway with lockers
Some districts have integrated more restorative justice practices into their disciplinary structure. Experts describe what restorative justice looks like and how it can be implemented in schools.
iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety Video 3 Steps for Schools to Use Relationships as a 'Prevention Strategy'
Research has shown that strong school relationships can be a prevention strategy for chronic absenteeism, misbehavior, and other challenges.
7 min read
Four high school students work together on an experiment in an AP chemistry class at a high school in Los Angeles, Calif. on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
Four high school students work together on an experiment in an AP chemistry class at a high school in Los Angeles, Calif. on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
Allison Shelley/EDUimages
School Climate & Safety Opinion How Do Restorative Practices Work?
Traditional punitive measures tend to reap more misbehavior.
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety What Helped These K-12 Leaders After School Shootings
School shootings leave deep and lasting impact on the community, including those charged with leading students and staff in the aftermath.
5 min read
School staff cheer as students returned to in-person classes at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, following a shooting on Oct. 24, 2022, that killed a student and a teacher. Kacy Shahid, then the school's principal, faced the challenge of guiding the school community through recovery as she struggled herself to process the events.
School staff cheer as students returned to in-person classes at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, following a shooting on Oct. 24, 2022, that killed a student and a teacher. Kacy Shahid, then the school's principal, faced the challenge of guiding the school community through recovery as she struggled herself to process the events.
Jim Salter/AP