It’s graduation time for high-schoolers and college students alike. The streets here are awash in young people in suits, prom dresses, and graduation garb. I love to see those fresh faces full of excitement, and a little apprehension, about the future. But it is not lost on me that, in response to recent events, while so many young people are experiencing this important rite of passage, many of us are having —or not having— difficult conversations about school safety. For anyone avoiding the conversation, it might help to know what the research about gun violence in schools is telling us. The current debate around school safety is centered on mass shootings. But research to be published later this year by Professor James Alan Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel shows that mass school shootings are rare events. They have found that, on average, mass murders in the U.S. occur between 20 and 30 times per year while, on average, only about one of those incidents takes place at a school.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) strongly supports S. 2495, the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018, introduced by a bipartisan coalition of 25 U.S. senators led by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. The legislation would fund school security improvements and invest in prevention programs to stop school violence before it happens.