Despite yesterday’s death of a Chardon, Oh., high school student in a shooting by another student, in the 13 years since Colorado’s Columbine massacre pushed school shootings to the front of media headlines and many parents' concerns, the trends are improving in terms of student-initiated shootings, says the Christian Science Monitor. One possible reason: heightened awareness of the problem on the part of parents, teachers, and fellow students, who may be more willing to act on early warning signs.
“After the mid-90s when this became a major issue, I think now people have seen what can happen when you don't report things and aren't coming forward, and there's a lot more awareness,” says Kevin Quinn of the National Association of School Resource Officers. “I don't think kids are as apt to keep things quiet anymore.” This month, the federal government released an Indicators of School Crime and Safety report, which puts school-related violent deaths at an all-time low since it began tracking such deaths in 1992. It reported 33 such deaths for the 2009-10 school year, including 25 homicides – also the lowest since 1992 (tied with the 2002-03 school year). The 2006-07 school year had the highest number of deaths, with 63.