Media Resources

School Associated Violent Deaths

posted Jul 14, 2010, 2:20 PM by Web Master   [ updated Apr 23, 2019, 12:49 PM by Ron Stephens ]

The School Associated Violent Deaths Report is an in-house report of the National School Safety Center dealing with school shootings and other violent deaths within schools.

A school-associated violent death is any homicide, suicide, or weapons-related violent death in the United States in which the fatal injury occurred:
  • on the property of a functioning public, private or parochial elementary or secondary school, Kindergarten through grade 12, (including alternative schools);
  • on the way to or from regular sessions at such a school;
  • while person was attending or was on the way to or from an official school-sponsored event;
  • as obvious direct result of school incidents, functions or activities, whether on or off school bus/vehicle or school property.
Newspaper accounts, on which NSSC bases this report, frequently do not list names and ages of those who are charged with the deaths of others. Such omissions were in some cases because the person charged was a minor. In some instances, persons were killed in drive-by school shootings, gang encounters or during melees in which the killer was not identified, and the killers were either never apprehended or were caught days or months after the crime was first reported. As a result, more is known about victims than about perpetrators and therefore information in this report relates more to victims than to perpetrators.

This report covers all reported school associated violent deaths that the National School Safety Center knows of from the 1992-1993 School year through 2010. For purposes of this study, the new school year begins on August 1st.  

Missing Information:
The National School Safety Center has worked hard to make this study as accurate as possible. If you are aware of school shootings or other school associated violent deaths that are not reported in the study please contact us at the above address. Please include articles or references to confirm the accuracy of the account.

Last Updated: March 3, 2010; For updates after 2010 the CDC maintains a data base of school associated violent deaths which may be helpful to your research.

Checklist of Characteristics of Youth Who Have Caused School-Associated Violent Deaths

posted Jul 14, 2010, 2:18 PM by Web Master   [ updated Nov 15, 2019, 1:27 PM by Ron Stephens ]

The National School Safety Center offers the following checklist derived from tracking school-associated violent deaths in the United States from July 1992 to the present. Follow this link to the School Associated Violent Deaths Report. After studying common characteristics of youngsters who have caused such deaths, NSSC has identified the following behaviors, which could indicate a youth's potential for harming him/herself or others.

Accounts of these tragic incidents repeatedly indicate that in most cases, a troubled youth has demonstrated or has talked to others about problems with bullying and feelings of isolation, anger, depression and frustration. While there is no foolproof system for identifying potentially dangerous students who may harm themselves and/or others, this checklist provides a starting point.

These characteristics should serve to alert school administrators, teachers and support staff to address needs of troubled students through meetings with parents, provision of school counseling, guidance and mentoring services, as well as referrals to appropriate community health/social services and law enforcement personnel. Further, such behavior should also provide an early warning signal that safe school plans and crisis prevention/intervention procedures must be in place to protect the health and safety of all school students and staff members so that schools remain safe havens for learning.

_______ Has a history of tantrums and uncontrollable angry outbursts.
_______ Characteristically resorts to name calling, cursing or abusive language.
_______ Habitually makes violent threats when angry.
_______ Has previously brought a weapon to school.
_______ Has a background of serious disciplinary problems at school and in the community.
_______ Has a background of drug, alcohol or other substance abuse or prescription drug dependency.
_______ Is on the fringe of his/her peer group with few or no close friends.
_______ Is preoccupied with weapons, explosives or other incendiary devices.
_______ Has previously been truant, suspended or expelled from school.
_______ Displays cruelty to animals.
_______ Often has shared their intent to harm with others
_______ Has little or no supervision and support from parents or a caring adult.
_______ Has witnessed or been a victim of abuse or neglect in the home.
_______ Has been bullied and/or bullies or intimidates peers or younger children.
_______ Tends to blame others for difficulties and problems s/he causes her/himself.
_______ Consistently prefers TV shows, videos or music expressing violent themes and acts.
_______ Prefers reading materials dealing with violent themes, rituals and abuse.
_______ Reflects anger, frustration and the dark side of life in school essays or writing projects.
_______ Is on the fringe of or appears isolated from their peer social group.
_______ Is often depressed and/or has significant mood swings.
_______ Has threatened or attempted suicide.

Developed by the National School Safety Center, Copyright 1988, Revised 2019
Dr. Ronald D. Stephens, Executive Director
30200 Agoura Road, Suite 260, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Phone: (805) 373-9977

School Crime and Violence Statistics

posted Jul 14, 2010, 2:17 PM by Web Master   [ updated Jun 20, 2017, 10:25 PM ]

The highlights of research studies presented in this summary relate primarily to aspects of school safety and school climate. Most of the research has been conducted by other organizations and agencies and may contain additional information not related to school safety. Please contact the source agency directly for appropriate citations, copies of studies and answers to questions regarding the research.

This report is available in pdf as a free download.

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