Rural Trust Special Report on School Violence

Last Updated: July 31, 2013

Violence in U.S. Schools, 1975-2013Violence in U.S. K-12 Schools, 1974–2013: Patterns in Deadly Incidents and Mass Threat presents information gathered from some 700 media accounts of specific incidents of violence in schools since 1974.

Among these incidents, we found 80 accounts of mass violence, claiming 155 lives Although mass violence events capture more media attention, we found three times more deaths in one-on-one incidents. Overall, students were the most frequent perpetrators and victims of violence in schools. Only in elementary schools did adult intruders constitute a significant percentage of violent actors.

These numbers corroborate other evidence that schools can significantly reduce violence by developing positive environments that engage everyone in meaningful work and help students learn to prevent, resolve, and manage conflict.

The report underscores the need for more and better information about violence in the U.S. and about the practices and policies that will reduce the likelihood that anyone will be victimized at school or school functions.

In this regard, we hope this report helps to bring a rural perspective to policy debates about safety, guns, and violence in the U.S. These are important conversations that need the authentic engagement of all Americans.

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