What does it solve?
We need meaningful strategies to keep our nation’s schools safe. School communities must be provided with the tools they need to intervene and prevent school-based gun violence.
It’s time for leaders to pursue the approaches that have been shown to be effective to keep guns out of schools. These approaches include addressing students’ health, empowering teachers and law enforcement to intervene if students show warning signs, improving schools’ physical security in a targeted way, and keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. We can’t let risky ideas, like arming teachers, dominate the debate on school safety. An armed teacher cannot transform into a specially-trained law enforcement officer in a moment of extreme duress.
What are the solutions?
Stop Arming Teachers
To prevent tragedies we must implement strong school safety solutions, but arming teachers is not one of them. School shootings are chaotic and in these moments of chaos, we cannot ask teachers to stop a shooter, potentially a former student.
Reconsider Active Shooter Drills
95% of American public schools drill students on lockdown procedures. Yet, there is almost no research affirming the value of these drills for preventing school shootings or protecting the school community when shootings do occur.
Threat Identification and Assessment Programs in Schools
The most important thing that schools can do to prevent active shooter incidents—and gun violence overall—is to intervene before a person commits an act of violence. Threat assessment and identification programs allow schools to intervene to address potential violent behavior.
Keep Guns off Campus
Guns have no place on college campuses. Campuses have unique risk factors, such as high rates of mental illness and an increased use of alcohol and drugs, that make the presence of guns potentially deadly.
Extreme Risk Laws
When a person is in crisis and considering harming themselves or others, family members and law enforcement are often the first people to see the warning signs. Extreme Risk laws, sometimes referred to as “Red Flag” laws, allow loved ones or law enforcement to intervene by petitioning a court for an order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns.
Secure Gun Storage
Gun owners can make their homes and communities safer by storing their guns securely. This means storing them unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition.
How Can We Prevent Gun Violence in American Schools?
School leaders and policymakers must support and implement strong gun safety laws and school-based interventions.
The Danger of Guns on Campus
Guns on campus are likely to lead to more shootings, homicides, and suicides, and they’re unlikely to prevent mass shootings.
The Impact of Active Shooter Drills in Schools
Since the 1999 Columbine shooting, active shooter drills have proliferated in America’s school systems at an exponential rate.
Gunfire on School Grounds
Since 2013, Everytown has tracked incidents of gunfire on school grounds to learn how often youth are affected by gun violence.
Footnotes for How Can We Prevent Gun Violence in American Schools?
These footnotes are a companion to the “How Can We Prevent Gun Violence in American Schools?” brief.Footnotes
Cómo detener los tiroteos y la violencia armada en las escuelas: Un plan para mantener seguros a los estudiantes
Necesitamos acciones significativas para mantener nuestras escuelas y las comunidades circundantes seguras en los Estados Unidos.Report
How To Stop Shootings and Gun Violence in Schools: A Plan to Keep Students Safe
We need meaningful actions to keep our schools safe, actions that address what we know about gun violence in America’s schools.Report
Guide to Secure Gun Storage Devices
Secure gun storage can prevent theft and access by children, unauthorized users, and anyone who may pose a danger to themself or others.Report
Community-Led Public Safety Strategies
Communities affected by gun violence need immediate and locally driven interventions in addition to larger scale policy reform.Fact Sheet
Keeping Our Schools Safe: A Plan for Preventing Mass Shootings and Ending All Gun Violence in American Schools
The failure of our leaders to address the root causes of school gun violence is having lasting consequences for millions of children.Report
The Impact of Gun Violence on Children and Teens
Children's exposure to gun violence has far reaching effects: An estimated three million children witness a shooting each year.Fact Sheet
Arming Teachers Introduces New Risks Into Schools
Introduction Arming teachers is opposed by school safety experts like law enforcement, and teachers and parents. The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education…Fact Sheet
Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines
Many of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States have been carried out with assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.Fact Sheet
Progress Toward a Stronger Background Check System More than ten years after the Virginia Tech shooting, progress in closing the gaps in state mental…Report