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The Student News Site of Grant Community High School

The Bark

The Student News Site of Grant Community High School

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School Shootings: What We Know.

The Facts On A National Issue
In+2023+there+were+306+school+shootings%2C+the+most+amount+ever+reached+within+the+United+States.
Elyanna Torres
In 2023 there were 306 school shootings, the most amount ever reached within the United States.

It’s no secret that school shootings have been increasing exponentially as time continues… 

 

The Columbine school shooting in 1999 

sparked an increase in incidents. School shootings started to slowly decrease in 2001-2003 until the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting occurred in 2012 which kickstarted violence in schools once again. In 2018, school shootings in the United States officially reached triple digits, more specifically 119, and these numbers have continued to increase as the years go on. (Naaz Modan, Kara Arundel, 2022).  In 2023 there were 306 school shootings, the most amount ever reached within the United States. This article is going to continue to explore the 3 most common conversations around school shootings. Please take note that these topics are common themes, but not stigmas. Just because someone may struggle with these specific issues mentioned in this article does not mean they are/will become a school shooter or commit an act of violence.    

 

Rise in Gun Violence

Data has shown that all types of gun violence are seeing an upward trajectory in the US. The total number of gun violence-related deaths in 2019 in the US was 33,599. In 2022, the death toll reached 44,299. In 2023 there have been more than 300 mass shootings.  The horrid increase in deaths because of guns has created more concern regarding gun ownership. Many think that having a gun will keep them safe from violence which was the cause for the spike in gun sales. In 2020 the US gun sales reached 23 million, a 65% increase in sales since 2019. These numbers have continuously grown from 2021 to the current day, according to an article published by BBC News, “Why number of US mass shootings has risen sharply”, March 2023. According to the American Association of Family Physicians, the level of gun violence has been considered to be a public health emergency. Dr. Chethan Sathya, a pediatric trauma surgeon and director of the Center for Gun Violence Prevention at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y. has found gun violence to be the leading cause of death for children and young adults. 

Bullying and Mental Health 

Many school shooters have a history or an ongoing problem with psychological struggles. There are multiple different mental diseases, but the most common ones that are linked with school shootings are depression, bipolar disorder, and even psychotic episodes ( Robin M. Kowalski, 2022).  Regardless of the number of people who commit an act of violence with one of these struggles, there is a still a vast majority of teens and others who have been diagnosed with psychological conditions who aren’t violent whatsoever… Psychiatrists have tried to raise awareness to limit the amount of blame people put on mental disorders causing violence because it creates a stigma. Almost half who partake in mass shootings at K-12 schools have reported a history of rejection or bullying. The long-term rejection is compounded by a more acute rejection experience. It is not common for a school shooter to experience an acute and traumatic event shortly before the incident. These things have been found to be a long-term issue that has been built up over time. 

Social Media

Threats of school shootings and other forms of gun violence have been heavily promoted on social media. A challenge was promoted on TikTok known as National Shoot Up Your School Day, some schools canceled their classes, while others brought more security in as a response to this TikTok challenge. Researchers have studied that shooters may show more fantasization with violence found on the internet or video games that include guns ( Robin M. Kowalski, 2022).   Not only have there been threats that have filled social media but there has also been more gun violence shown online, “teens having easy access to guns and posting it all around the internet creates a rise in other people’s attention”  ( Liz Szabo, 2023). 

What Can We Do?

As a society, we refuse to see how technology has eroded empathy, how we look at our phones and not each other, texting rather than talking face to face (Sherry Turkle, 2022). 

has an impact on mental health. 

Students are capable of changing the school climate and instead of hiding behind screens and bullying others online, students can remind themselves that we are all humans living in the

same environment. Sarah Goodrum, a researcher from The Center for the Study of Violence for the University of Colorado, Boulder asserts that by practicing regulating emotions, looking out for concerning behaviors from others, and reporting concerns students can minimize safety risks in schools. Students have the ability to report any warning signs no matter the severity they may seem. Grant Community High School provides a way for students to text a tip anonymously. This can be done by going to students and then clicking social-emotional support/suicide prevention resources on the Grant website. Utilizing an anonymous report system can make people more safe and feel less like a target when wanting to report something  ( Beverly Kingston, Sarah Goodrum, 2023). 

There are nationwide efforts going into preventing large-scale acts of violence.  While it may feel like it is impossible to help the cause as individuals, but being a part of a community that is willing to help provide support for those in need is extremely helpful and important.   

Please be aware that there are some hotlines that can help, specific hotlines are SAMHSA National Helpline for mental health call 1-800-662-HELP, and the national hotline for crisis and suicide prevention call 800-273-TALK. As bell hooks once said, ¨One of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we know we are not alone.

 

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