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Footnotes for How Can We Prevent Gun Violence in American Schools? | #schoolsaftey


These footnotes are a companion to the “How Can We Prevent Gun Violence in American Schools?” brief, which provides research-backed approaches that can help create safer schools and end gun violence.

  1. For 10 full years beginning in 2013, Everytown collected detailed information on all incidents of gunfire on school grounds. Everytown defined incidents of gunfire on school grounds as “any time a gun discharges a live round inside (or into) a school building, or on (or onto) a school campus or grounds,” where “school” refers to a preschool; elementary, middle, and high schools—K–12—as well as colleges and universities. Of the 1,031 incidents identified at all schools between 2013 and 2022, 720 occurred on the grounds of a preschool, or elementary, middle, high, or K–12 school, resulting in 239 people killed and 504 people wounded. This analysis informs the lessons in this document. The analysis here reflects information related to gunfire on the grounds of preschools and K–12 schools only and is supplemented by external research. More information is available at https://everytownresearch.org/gunfire-in-school/ and https://everytownresearch.org/school-safety-plan. 
  2. New York City Police Department, “Active Shooter: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation,” 2016, https://on.nyc.gov/2nWHM4O. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) defines an active shooter as “a person(s) actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.” In its definition, the Department of Homeland Security notes that, “in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.” Everytown limited its analysis of this data to incidents that took place in K–12 schools.  
  3. National Threat Assessment Center, “Protecting America’s Schools: A US Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence,” US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, 2019, https://bit.ly/2U7vnwa.  
  4. National Threat Assessment Center, “Protecting America’s Schools: A US Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence,” US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, 2019, https://bit.ly/2U7vnwa. 
  5. Everytown Research analysis of Gunfire on School Grounds database, 2013 to 2021. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “How to Stop Shootings and Gun Violence in Schools: A Plan to Keep Students Safe, “ August 19, 2022, https://everytownresearch.org/school-safety-plan. 
  6. Matthew Miller and Deborah Azrael, “Firearm Storage in US Households with Children: Findings from the 2021 National Firearm Survey,” JAMA Network Open 5, no. 2 (2022): e2148823, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.48823. 
  7. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Everytown Gun Law Rankings: Which States Have Child-Access and/or Secure Storage Laws?,” https://everytownresearch.org/rankings/law/secure-storage-or-child-access-prevention–required/. 
  8. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Extreme Risk Laws Save Lives,” February 20, 2023, https://everytownresearch.org/report/extreme-risk-laws-save-lives/. 
  9. For the most up-to-date list of states that have enacted Extreme Risk laws, visit https://everytownresearch.org/rankings/law/extreme-risk-law/. 
  10. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Extreme Risk Laws Save Lives: Stories,” March 13, 2023, https://everytownresearch.org/report/appendix-a-extreme-risk-laws-save-lives-stories/.  
  11. Everytown Research analysis using FBI Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) and US Census American Community Survey data, 2016–2020. 
  12. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Everytown Gun Law Rankings: Which States Require Background Checks and/or Permits to Purchase Handguns?,” https://everytownresearch.org/rankings/law/background-check-and-or-purchase-permit/; Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Update Background Check Laws,” June 22, 2021, https://everytownresearch.org/report/update-background-check-laws/.  
  13. National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, “School Climate Improvement,” accessed April 21, 2023, https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/school-climate-improvement. 
  14. Sandy Hook Promise, “Know the Signs Programs,” accessed April 21, 2023, https://bit.ly/2S9fgPa; Hsing-Fang Hsieh et al., “The Effectiveness of the Say-Something Anonymous Reporting System in Preventing School Violence: A Cluster Randomized Control Trial in 19 Middle Schools,” Journal of School Violence 21, no. 4 (2022), https://doi.org/10.1080/15388220.2022.2105858. 
  15. Jillian Peterson, James Densley, and Missy Dodds, “The R-Model: Ready-Respond-Refer-Revisit, K–12 School Crisis Response Teams,” accessed April 21, 2023, https://off-ramp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/R-Model-Protocol-Final-2.pdf. 
  16. US Department of Homeland Security, “K–12 School Security: A Guide for Preventing and Protecting against Gun Violence, 2nd Edition,” 2018, https://bit.ly/41LxK7y.  
  17. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “How to Stop Shootings and Gun Violence in Schools: A Plan to Keep Students Safe, “ August 19, 2022, https://everytownresearch.org/school-safety-plan; National Threat Assessment Center, “Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence,” US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, July 2018, https://bit.ly/3ovPJAC; Jillian Peterson, James Densley, and Missy Dodds, “The R-Model: Ready-Respond-Refer-Revisit, K–12 School Crisis Response Teams,” accessed April 21, 2023, https://off-ramp.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/R-Model-Protocol-Final-2.pdf.
  18. Anisa N. Goforth et al., “Status of School Psychology in 2020: Part 1, Demographics of the NASP Membership Survey,” NASP Research Reports 5, no. 2 (2021), https://www.nasponline.org/research-and-policy/research-center/member-surveys.  
  19. Students Demand Action, “Urge Your School Board to Act on School Safety,” January 26, 2022, https://studentsdemandaction.org/report/urge-your-school-board-to-act-on-school-safety/.
  20. https://besmartforkids.org/.
  21. Tyler Kingkade, “How Moms Are Quietly Passing Gun Safety Policy through School Boards,” NBC News, February 10, 2020, https://nbcnews.to/3azPWHf.  
  22. As of early 2023, more than 8.5 million students attend schools with a secure storage notification policy. Everytown for Gun Safety, “More Than 8.5 Million Students Nationwide Will Attend Schools with Secure Firearm Storage Policies during Next School Year Following Passage of Orange County, Florida Resolution,” press release, December 15, 2022, https://www.everytown.org/press/more-than-8-5-million-students-nationwide-will-attend-schools-with-secure-firearm-storage-policies-during-next-school-year-following-passage-of-orange-county-florida-resolution/.
  23. Everytown for Gun Safety, ”Following Tireless Advocacy by California Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, California Legislature Passes Groundbreaking Gun Violence Prevention Bills,” press release, August 9, 2022, https://www.everytown.org/press/following-tireless-advocacy-by-california-moms-demand-action-students-demand-action-california-legislature-passes-groundbreaking-gun-violence-prevention-bills/. 
  24. Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, “Final Report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission: Presented to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, State of Connecticut,” March 6, 2015, https://bit.ly/1C5aeU3; Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, “Initial Report Submitted to the Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President,” January 2, 2019, https://bit.ly/37Gaoop. 
  25. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Arming Teachers Introduces New Risks into Schools,” May 1, 2019, https://everytownresearch.org/report/arming-teachers-introduces-new-risks-into-schools/. 
  26. Bernard D. Rostker et al., “Evaluation of the New York City Police Department Firearm Training and Firearm-Discharge Review Process,” RAND Corporation, 2008, https://bit.ly/2U9bk0t. 
  27. Melvin D. Livingston, Matthew E. Rossheim, and Kelli Stidham Hall, “A Descriptive Analysis of School and School Shooter Characteristics and the Severity of School Shootings in the United States, 1999–2018,” Journal of Adolescent Health 64, no. 6 (June 2019): 797–99, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.12.006; Jillian Peterson, James Densley, and Gina Erickson, “Presence of Armed School Officials and Fatal and Nonfatal Gunshot Injuries during Mass School Shootings, United States, 1980–2019,” JAMA Network Open 4, no. 2 (2021): e2037394, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.37394; Lucy C. Sorensen et al., “The Thin Blue Line in Schools: New Evidence on School-Based Policing across the US,” EdWorkingPaper 21-476, August 2022, https://doi.org/10.26300/heqx-rc69; Amir Whitaker et al., “Cops and No Counselors: How the Lack of School Mental Health Staff Is Harming Students,” American Civil Liberties Union, March 2019, https://bit.ly/3xzz0fF; Emily K. Weisburst, “Patrolling Public Schools: The Impact of Funding for School Police on Student Discipline and Long-Term Education Outcomes,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 38, no. 2 (2019): 338–65, https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.22116. 
  28. Emily M. Homer and Benjamin W. Fisher, “Police in Schools and Student Arrest Rates across the United States: Examining Differences by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender,” Journal of School Violence 19, no. 2 (April 2, 2020): 192–204, https://doi.org/10.1080/15388220.2019.1604377; Deborah Fowler et al., “Dangerous Discipline: How Texas Schools Are Relying on Law Enforcement, Courts, and Juvenile Probation to Discipline Students,” Texas Appleseed and Texans Care for Children, December 14, 2016, https://report.texasappleseed.org/dangerous-discipline/; Nora Gordon, “Disproportionality in Student Discipline: Connecting Policy to Research,” Brookings (blog), January 18, 2018, https://brook.gs/3dlLak7; Amir Whitaker et al., “Cops and No Counselors: How the Lack of School Mental Health Staff Is Harming Students,” American Civil Liberties Union, March 2019, https://bit.ly/3xzz0fF. 
  29. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “The Impact of Active Shooter Drills in Schools: Time to Rethink Reactive School Safety Strategies,” 2020, https://everytownresearch.org/reports/the-impact-of-active-shooter-drills-in-schools; Mai ElSherief et al., “Impacts of School Shooter Drills on the Psychological Well-Being of American K–12 School Communities: A Social Media Study,” Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 8, no. 315 (2021), https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-00993-6.

Everytown Research & Policy is a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence. Everytown Research & Policy works to do so by conducting methodologically rigorous research, supporting evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public.



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