School Climate & Safety

Spate of School Shootings Continues in Weeks After California Slayings

February 08, 1989 2 min read

In the wake of the slaying of five elementary students in Stockton, Calif., by a deranged gunman last month, school-related shooting incidents in at least half a dozen cities have continued to stir public alarm over the level of campus violence.

The most widely noted incident took place Jan. 26 in Washington, where four students were wounded outside a high school.

District of Columbia police have charged two teenage suspects with assault with intent to kill in connection with the violence. The attackers allegedly opened fire on the students shortly after classes were dismissed at Woodrow Wilson High School. Investigators believe the shooting was prompted by an argument in the school’s cafeteria between one of the victims and one of the gunmen.

Neither of the alleged assailants is a student at the school.

Three of the students were wounded in the leg, while the fourth was shot in the upper lip.

The attack, which occurred in an affluent area that previously had been spared much of the city’s growing wave of violent crime, drew national attention and spurred an outcry among local residents. School officials were working last week to develop ways to improve security.

In addition, the city council is considering a measure that would require all juveniles found in possession of a gun in or near a school to be tried as an adult.

A second bill before the council would make gun manufacturers and distributors legally liable for deaths and injuries caused by shootings.

The following incidents were also reported:

Two students at Jim Hill High School in Jackson, Miss., allegedly fired shots at a third student on the school’s campus on Jan. 24. Police officials, who arrested the two students, believe the violence may have been gang-related. No one was hurt in the incident.

On the same day, a junior-high-school student in Little Rock, Ark., was shot and wounded on a school bus. Police officials said a 13-year-old classmate was responsible for the shooting, which they believe was accidental. Earlier in the month, another student was fatally shot on a junior-high-school basketball court in the city. A 19-year-old has been charged with murder.

Two high-school students and a college student were hit by stray bullets during a fight outside Springfield Gardens High School in the Queens borough of New York City on Jan. 23. One was shot in the thigh, another in the hand, and the third in the hip.

Three youths were shot in Norfolk, Va., shortly after the end of a high-school basketball game on Jan. 20. None of the victims is a student. Police have arrested one man in the incident.

A spate of gunfire occurred outside Dunbar High School in Fort Worth on Jan. 19. Police officials, who said they were uncertain of the number of students involved or the motive for the violence, have arrested one person. One youth reportedly was injured, but police have been unable to locate him.--ef

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A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 1989 edition of Education Week as Spate of School Shootings Continues in Weeks After California Slayings


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