The 2017-2018 school year probably seemed like an especially violent year for schools. Between the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida to the Noblesville West Middle School shooting in Indiana, school shootings were in the news over and over again. A new study shows that the rise in violence was not just a popular perception.
A study conducted by The Educator’s School Safety Network confirms the 2017-2018 school year was indeed significantly more violent than previous years in regard to both threats and actual violent occurrences:
There were 3,380 threats recorded in the 2017-2018 school year, a 62% increase from 2,085 threats in the 2016-2017 school year. 279 incidents of violence occurred in the 2017-2018 school year, compared to 131 events in 2016-2017 school year – an increase of 113%.
Bomb and shooting threats made up the vast majority of threats in the 2017-2018 school year, as was the case in previous years. Social media was the most common method of delivery for threats.
According to the study, the public nature of the Parkland school shooting seemed to have a measurable impact on the number of threats schools received since 43% of all documented threats occurred in the 30 days following the shooting.
There was also a large increase in the number of guns found on school campuses, a 267% increase to be exact. Actual shootings or incidents in which shots were fired saw a smaller increase of 30%.
The 2018-2019 school year already has a couple violent incidents on the record. Hopefully, the total number of incidents falls well short of the previous year.