NCES: School shootings increase while bullying, harassment on decline

Photo: School lockers

Dive Brief:

The 2020-21 school year had the highest number of school shooting casualties in the past two decades — despite the pandemic keeping many students off campus in remote learning for portions of the year, according to a school crime and safety report released Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The combination of 43 school shootings with deaths and 50 school shootings with injuries in public and private schools was the highest annual figure recorded since the 2000-01 school year, when the data collection began. Crime and safety incidents, however, became less prevalent between 2009 and 2020 with decreased rates of nonfatal criminal victimization, such as theft, and less bullying, student sexual harassment and student harassment of peers based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The report, published annually, includes findings from 23 indicators on school crime and safety, including preventative measures. The findings, the 31-page report said, can help inform policy makers and education professionals as they seek solutions to threatening and dangerous school-based activity.