Everytown for Gun Safety started tracking incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2013 to gain a better understanding of how often children and teens are affected by gun violence at their schools and colleges, and in response to a lack of research and data on the issue.
Over several years of tracking, this data has shown us that gunfire on school grounds takes many forms and mirrors the problem of gun violence in the US. Gunfire on school grounds occurs most often at schools with a high proportion of students of color—disproportionately affecting Black students. For more information, read the analysis of this data and learn about proven solutions that can make schools in the US safer.
When it comes to how American children are exposed to gun violence, gunfire at schools is just the tip of the iceberg–every year, more than 3,500 children and teens are shot and killed and 15,000 more are shot and injured. An estimated 3 million children in the US are exposed to shootings per year. Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens. Witnessing shootings—whether in their schools, their communities or their homes–can have a devastating impact. Children exposed to violence, crime, and abuse are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; suffer from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder; fail or have difficulties in school; and engage in criminal activity.
Everytown tracks every time a firearm discharges a live round inside or into a school building or on or onto a school campus or grounds, as documented by the press. Incidents in which guns were brought into schools but not discharged are not included. The map reflects incidents that resulted in death or injury—as well as those in which no one was injured. Media reports are the primary source of the information provided. We conduct an annual, comprehensive review of our database, which incorporates new information that may have emerged since we originally tracked the incidents as well as any new incidents that weren’t initially identified but found through later research.