No agreed way exists to classify and count US school shootings. Some argue that the mere presence of firearms in schools is contrary to their role as institutions that foster understanding and consensus through teaching and discussion. Others argue that only by arming teachers can schools be made safer.
TRT World is not entering into that debate. We understand that our choice of what to classify as a 'school shooting' can be questioned. The point of this page is to present our methodology, so that our classification is easily understood.
Our primary source of information is the database maintained by Everytown for Gun Safety, an independent, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organisation dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence in America.
The NGO classifies as a school shooting every incident in which a firearm was discharged at a school, regardless of whether it was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds.
It counts the incident only if it was documented by the press or confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement.
If a gun was brought into a school, but not fired, or was fired off school grounds after if it had earlier been on school grounds, the incident was not counted.
TRT World does not vouch for the accuracy of the data presented by Everytown for Gun Safety.
Our second source of information is press reports from the US, which are considered accurate because they appear in media of record, such as established newspapers and broadcast media, or on agency wires such as the Associated Press.
Because of the nature of the counting and verification, the social card # No. might not match the chronological order of the shootings. I.e. a shooting may be recorded with a later card number if news of it came after a later shooting that was already given a card number. However, the overall count accords to the above protocol.
The aim of the social cards is to mark every instance we become aware of that meets our criteria for inclusion, to provide our audience with a picture of gun use in US schools as one element of better understanding gun violence in the United States.
The project was started in 2018.