Gunfire inside American schools dramatically surged during the 2021-2022 school year, report finds

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Fifty-nine people were killed in 193 gunfire incidents in American schools during the 2021-2022 school year, which saw the highest number of school shooting incidents in a decade.

Everytown for Gun Safety has tracked school gun violence annually since 2013. During the 2021-2022 school year, the number of “incidents of gunfire” – defined as firearms “discharged in or onto a school’s campus or grounds” – surged far beyond rates of gunfire from every year since the group began tracking them, according to its latest report.

The report from the nonpartisan gun control advocacy group found that the number of gunfire incidents in preschools and in kindergarten through 12th-grade campuses within the last school year was more than triple the number in the previous school year, and nearly quadruple the average number of incidents since 2013.

There were 62 such incidents in the 2020-2021 school year. Until last school year, the highest number of gunfire incidents over the last decade was during the 2018-2019 school year, when there were 75.

At least six in 10 of those who were killed and four in 10 among those who were injured were either current or former students.

“For the last 20 years, students, educators, and parents have lived with the reality of increasingly frequent school shootings. The worst period for this violence has been in the 2021-2022 school year,” according to the report, which was released in conjunction with the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association,

Between 2013 through 2021, Everytown identified 848 incidents of gunfire, including 573 on the grounds of a preschool, elementary, middle, or high school. At least 188 people were killed and 392 were wounded.

Nearly half of those victims were students.

More than half of those incidents were acts of gun violence in the form of homicides, nonfatal assaults, or attempted assaults. Those resulted in 96 deaths and injuries impacting 265 people. At least 133 victims were students.

Everytown identified four mass shootings – defined as incidents in which a shooter kills four or more people – between 2013 and 2021. Despite their relatively rare occurrence compared to overall rates of gunfire incidents, they accounted for roughly 19 per cent of all gun deaths

Ten percent of all people shot and wounded in schools within that period were victims of mass shootings, according to the report.

“The analysis also demonstrates that gun violence other than mass shootings is occurring in our schools with distressing frequency,” according to the report. “All of these incidents of gun violence, regardless of their intent or victim count, compromise the safety of our schools – safety that directly impacts learning outcomes and the emotional and social development of our students.”

The report arrives three months after the deadliest attack on an American grade school in a decade when a gunman killed 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in the final days of the school year.

Everytown outlines several recommendations to reduce gun violence and gunfire incidents on school campuses, including stricter gun control laws to combat the proliferation of high-powered weapons, mandatory background checks, and raising the age to purchase semi-automatic firearms.