By Ariel Scotti / December 11, 2018

2018 is the Worst Year on Record for School Shootings: Study

Researchers saw a 60% increase on the previous high set in 2006.

school shootings
Candles glow at a memorial site to honor 17 people who were killed in the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on February 17, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This past year was the worst ever for gun violence in schools, research from the advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise said, citing a study conducted by the US Naval Postgraduate School.

The NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security counted 94 school shooting incidents in 2018, a near 60% increase on the previous high, 59, an unwanted record set in 2006, The Guardian reported.

The group classifies any instance in which a gun is “brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason,” as a shooting, regardless of the number of victims.

High-profile attacks on schools at the hands of students like the mass murder in Parkland, Florida that claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty members, and in Santa Fe, Texas where 10 more perished, intensified the debate surrounding American gun violence in 2018.

“This is beyond unacceptable,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise. “It is inexcusable. Everyone has the power to stop violence before it starts, and we want to arm as many people as possible with the knowledge of how to keep their schools and communities safe.”

Hockley lost her 6-year-old son, Dylan, who was shot dead at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut in December 2012, along with 19 other children and six adult staff members.

Sandy Hook Promise said it will release a “jarring” public service announcement on the anniversary of the shooting that birthed the group, Dec. 14, based on the NPS findings.

The Guardian reported that the short film “reveals the many warning signs and signals exhibited by an at-risk individual that can lead to gun violence – signs that SHP wants to train individuals to recognize and intervene upon before a tragedy can occur.

“These signs happen amongst peers and educators who could have identified these signs and intervened before it was too late,” the group said. “An astonishing 80% of school shooters told someone of their plans prior to taking action – yet no interventions were made.”

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