Gun Violence in Schools

Image via Stanford.edu

Image via Stanford.edu

Heidi Gilman, Staff Writer

Gun violence has been becoming more prevalent in school environments, impacting both students and faculty. FCPS and other schools across the country have been taking deliberate measures to protect students. 

 

There were 34 school shootings in 2021 alone, resulting in 15 fatalities, 12 of which were children. There were an additional 53 people injured. The deadliest shooting of that year occurred at Oxford high school in Michigan, killing four people and injuring seven on November 30, 2021. 

 

There have been 32 school shootings in 2022, likely to surpass the number from the previous year. So far, there have been 29 fatalities, 26 of which were children, and an additional 69 injured. 

 

The deadliest school shooting since 2012 occurred, killing a total of 21 children and adults, and injuring 16 others on May 24, 2022. The massacre was at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The incident reignited security conversations across the U.S. and led to some changes. 

 

In Fairfax County, a new policy was put into place following the Uvalde shooting, requiring doors to be closed and locked during classes to protect students. Additionally, there is a tip line that allows anonymous comments to be sent for investigation over possible threats. This tip line and other updates regarding guns, can be viewed on the FCPS website by searching “gun violence.” 

 

The federal Gun-free schools act (GFSA), requires that U.S. public school systems must report all instances where a student is in possession of a gun on school grounds. Under federal law, those students charged with the possession of a firearm in school will be expelled for a minimum of one year.

 

These new policies, as well as having a police officer in every school throughout the day, consistently practicing lockdown drills, and having psychologists and counselors are all actions being taken to prevent shootings on school grounds.

 

Being an active member of your community can also save lives. If you see or hear something suspicious, report it to the tip line or directly to a security officer in your school to protect yourself and your school community. Additionally, if you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them and inform a trusted adult or consular to help get them the support they need.