The Slatest

2018 Was a Record Year for School Gun Violence — and it Wasn’t Even Close

Amit Dadon, a graduate in 2017 from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, poses for a photo on the West Lawn of the US Capitol after rallying with several hundred fellow students to call for stricter gun laws in Washington, DC on April 20, 2018.
Amit Dadon, a graduate in 2017 from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, poses for a photo on the West Lawn of the US Capitol after rallying with several hundred fellow students to call for stricter gun laws in Washington, DC on April 20, 2018.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty Images

It already seemed obvious that 2018 was a particularly bad year for gun violence in schools. But data cited by advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise are truly staggering. According to research by the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School there were 94 school shooting incidents in 2018, which is almost 60 percent higher than the previous record of 59 that had been set in 2006. The NPS database dates back to 1970 and documents any instance in which a gun is “brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason.”

The deadliest school shooting of the year took place in Parkland, Florida in February, when 17 students and staff members at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school were killed. Then in May, a shooting in Santa Fe High School in Texas killed 10 students and teachers. The high-profile school shootings also turned 2018 into a year in which activism against gun violence grew, culminating in the March for Our Lives demonstrations across the country.

“This is beyond unacceptable,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise. “It is inexcusable. Everyone has the power to stop violence before it starts, and we want to arm as many people as possible with the knowledge of how to keep their schools and communities safe.”