Residents participate in an end of school year peace march and rally on June 15, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago natives Jennifer Hudson and Chance the Rapper along with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords were guests at the rally.

Residents participate in an end of school year peace march and rally on June 15, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago natives Jennifer Hudson and Chance the Rapper along with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords were guests at the rally.

Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Columbine.

These names are synonymous with the terror of a school shooting.

But the amount of school shootings isn’t growing, despite enhanced fear.

NPR spoke to an expert who has done research on school shootings.

“Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades,” says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University who has studied the phenomenon of mass murder since the 1980s.

First, while multiple-victim shootings in general are on the rise, that’s not the case in schools. There’s an average of about one a year — in a country with more than 100,000 schools.

Second, the overall number of gunshot victims at schools is also down. According to Fox’s numbers, back in the 1992-93 school year, about 0.55 students per million were shot and killed; in 2014-15, that rate was closer to 0.15 per million.

What would it take to make schools safer? Are there recommendations for training and resources for teachers and administrators that’s the most effective?

We’ll also bring you an update on school safety legislation making up for debate and approval in state legislatures and in Congress.

This show is a part of “Enrolled,” our series on education. Find all the shows from the series here

Guests

  • Jack Macleod Junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; co-founder, Students for Change; @jackforchange
  • Jessica Bakeman Education reporter for WLRN; @jessicabakeman
  • Anya Kamenetz Education reporter for NPR and author of "The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing - But You Don't Have to Be"; @anya1anya
  • Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. Chief legal officer, National School Boards Association

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