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The number of shootings in American elementary and secondary schools that resulted in injury or death reached a new record in the 2021-2022 school year amid an overall increase in gun crimes across the country, a new statistical data report compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed.
A total of 327 school shootings at public and private elementary and secondary schools were documented in 2021-2022, including 188 incidents with casualties and 139 without any injuries or deaths, the report said on Thursday.
In the same school year, 57 school shootings resulted in death and 131 shootings ended with injuries only, the report said.
The new data set a new annual record number of shootings in US schools over the past 21 years. For comparison, the next highest number of school shooting incidents was recorded in 2020-2021 with a total of 93 shootings in schools, the report added.
The report noted most shootings were commonly associated with drive-by incidents, accidental weapons discharge, intentional property damages and general dispute escalations, among other issues.
Roughly one-third of the documented shootings were listed as having been tied to an unknown cause.
For the period since 2000, the lowest number of school shootings was documented during the school year of 2009-2010 with only 14 incidents, according to the report, which also detailed that nearly 98% of school shooters between 2000 and 2021 were identified as male.
95% of US public schoools now have shooter drills, in which children are taught how to respond to shooters in classrooms. Some may include exercises that teach students how to hide under desks, jump out of classroom windows and even fight back by throwing objects like erasers and books at an attacker.
In recent years, some school districts have even added elements to their drills intended to make them seem more like a real attack: the sound of real gunfire, officers firing blanks through school hallways, and the use of prop or toy firearms.
However, there is no evidence that any of this has ever worked and the majority of US citizens believe that guns save more lives than they cost.
Sources: Al Jazeera, edweek.org