School shootings—terrifying to students, educators, parents, and communities—always reignite polarizing debates about gun rights and school safety. To bring context to these debates, Education Week journalists began tracking shootings on K-12 school property that resulted in firearm-related injuries or deaths. In 2018 and 2019 there were 49 such incidents. (Visit our data from 2018 and 2019 to see where these shootings took place and key information about them.) In 2020, this heartbreaking but important work continues. More information about this tracker and our methodology is below.
On Nov. 24, a 13-year-old male student fired a shot from a handgun and injured a 12-year-old female student at around 7:45 a.m. in the gymnasium of a Hendersonville, N.C., middle school. Police are investigating what led to the shooting. Read more.
Injuries & Deaths
Where the Shootings Happened
Size of the dots correlates to the number of victims. Click on each dot for more information.
About the Shootings
About This Tracker
In the emotionally charged aftermath of school shootings, politicians, activists, news media, and ordinary citizens often cite statistics that can present a distorted view of how many of these incidents occur. Those statistics are used to fuel ongoing debates about gun control, arming teachers, and school security.
With this tracker, Education Week looks to provide a clear accounting of K-12 school shootings. There is no single right way of calculating numbers like this, and the human toll in the immediate aftermath and long term are impossible to measure. We hope only to provide reliable information to help inform discussions, debates, and paths forward until such reports are deemed unnecessary.
This page refers to incidents:
- 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
- that occur while school is in session or during a school-sponsored event
Injuries include those reported by police and news media. They may be major or minor. While we only track incidents resulting in at least one bullet wound, total injuries are not necessarily the result of gunfire. The total count of those killed or injured does not include the suspect or perpetrator.
We will not track incidents in which the only shots fired were from an individual authorized to carry a gun, such as a school resource officer, and who did so in their official capacity. The numbers of incidents and victims reported in this tracker do not include suicides or self-inflicted injuries. While suicides and attempted suicides are serious issues of health and safety, many of the critical questions and debates that those incidents raise for educators and the broader public are distinct from those generated by school shootings.
Reporting & Analysis: Lesli Maxwell, Holly Peele, Denisa R. Superville
Design & Visualization: Stacey Decker, Hyon-Young Kim