At present, there is no standard definition of a “school shooting.” Some resources only include “active shooter” or “mass shooting” events, which offer a different focus and connotation. For the sake of every parent of a student and school personnel who seek protect children from all forms of gun violence in schools, I offer the following definition:
A “school shooting,” as defined in this book, is any incidence in which a firearm was discharged on or toward any school property; at a school extracurricular activity; and/or school-sponsored event at any time of the day or night. A “school” is identified in this book as any academic institution, including, but not limited to, elementary, middle, and high schools; as well as colleges, universities, and trade schools. The term, “school property” in this book includes the inside of school-, college-, university-, and trade school-owned or leased buildings, parking lots, dormitories, athletic fields and courts, as well as the inside of school busses. Shootings that occurred on college campuses are included because students are always present in dormitories, libraries, campus grounds, etc. Shootings involving BB or pellet guns are not included since these are not classified as firearms under federal law. Incidents in which law enforcement shot the suspect(s) before they could shoot anyone else are also not included. Incidences involving drive-by shootings, gang related violence, stray bullets, accidental shootings, and suicides are included. For the sake of brevity and public interest, I have only included incidences of gun violence in which at least one person was either killed or injured as a result of the shooting event.
I have worked to the best of my ability to ensure the information featured on this list are as accurate and objective as possible, as well as based on credible resources available online and in print. Many of the resources came from subscription-based services, such Newspapers.com, NewsBank, ProQuest, LexisNexus, and Nexus Uni. You may be able to access some of these databases for free through your public library’s website or university library’s website. Ask your librarian how to access these outstanding resources with your library card.