Eighteen Months and Seventy-Four School Shootings

By Robyn Jay Bage

How could this happen?

Who would want to hurt little children?

Why aren’t kids safe in school?

Is this school safe? What if one of us had a gun?

What would happen if a stranger came in with one?

Who can protect us?

Mark Wilson/Roswell Daily Record/AP Photo
Mark Wilson/Roswell Daily Record/AP Photo

In February 2013 I wrote about the heart breaking questions my student’s asked in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, and the questions I couldn’t answer. Today—18 months and 74 school shootings after that December horror—there are still no answers.

1/08/2013          Fort Myers, FL

1/10/2013          Taft, CA

1/15/2013          St. Louis, MO

1/15/2013          Hazard, KY

1/16/2013          Chicago, IL

1/22/2013          Houston, TX

1/31/2013          Atlanta, GA

2/1/2013            Atlanta, GA

2/7/2013            Fort Pierce, FL

2/13/2013          San Leandro, CA

2/27/2013          Atlanta, GA

3/18/2013          Orlando, FL

3/21/2013          Southgate, MI

4/12/2013          Christianburg, VA

4/13/2013          Elizabeth City, NC

4/15/2013          Grambling, LA

4/29/2013          Cincinnati, OH

6/7/2013            Santa Monica,CA

6/19/2013          W. Palm Beach, FL

8/15/2013          Clarksville, TN

8/20/2013          Decatur, GA

8/22/2013          Memphis, TN

8/23/2013          Sardis, MS

8/30/2013          Winston-Salem, NC

9/21/2013          Savannah, GA

9/28/2013          Gray, ME

10/4/2013          Pine Hills, FL

10/15/2013        Austin, TX

10/21/2013        Sparks, NV

11/1/2013          Algona, IA

11/2/2013          Greensboro, NC

11/3/2013          Stone Mountain, GA

11/21/2013        Rapid City, SD

12/4/2013          Winter Garden, FL

12/13/2013        Arapahoe County, CO

12/19/2013        Fresno, CA

1/9/2014            Jackson, TN

1/14/2014          Roswell, NM

1/15/2014          Lancaster, PA

1/17/2014          Philadelphia, PA

1/20/2014          Chester, PA

1/21/2014          West Lafayette, IN

1/24/2014          Orangeburg, SC

1/28/2014          Nashville, TN

1/28/2014          Grambling, LA

1/30/2014          Palm Bay, FL

1/31/2014          Phoenix, AZ

1/31/2014          Des Moines, IA

2/7/2014            Bend, OR

2/10/2014          Salisbury, NC

2/11/2014          Lyndhurst, OH

2/12/2014          Jackson, TN

2/20/2014          Raytown, MO

3/2/2014            Westminster, MD

3/7/2014            Tallulah, LA

3/8/2014            Oshkosh, WI

3/21/2014          Newark, DE

3/30/2014          Savannah, GA

4/3/2014            Kent, OH

4/7/2014            Roswell, NM

4/11/2014          Detroit, MI

4/16/2014          Tuscaloosa, AL

4/21/2014          Griffith, IN

4/21/2014          Provo, UT

4/16/2014          Council Bluffs, IA

5/2/2014            Milwaukee, WI

5/3/2014            Everett, WA

5/4/2014            Augusta, GA

5/5/2014            Augusta, GA

5/8/2014            Georgetown, KY

5/8/2014            Lawrenceville, GA

5/21/2014          Milwaukee, WI

6/5/2014            Seattle, WA

6/10/2014          Troutdale, OR

The President tells us we are the only developed country in the world that experiences this level of crisis in our schools. But it isn’t just about the sheer numbers. The details matter: Between December 15, 2012 and February 10, 2014, there was an average of two school shootings each month at K-12 schools. Where the shooter’s age was known, 70 were perpetrated by minors.

The epidemic of school shootings is too complex a problem for the solution to be as simple as gun control or more


mental health assessments. As a professional in youth services for many years, I have to wonder if these tragedies are indicators of the plight of today’s youth. In the aggregate, is this a symptom among a cluster of many, depicting a mood of hopelessness wounding this generation?

Research tells us that youth need adults who care about them, opportunities to have input into decisions that matter to them. They need nutritious food, health care, education and a system that rewards good work with jobs that sustain them, instead of mountains of student loan debt. Again, I am not making a political statement of any sort.

I’m making a plea.

Let us honor the memories of all who have suffered, by arming our youth with knowledge, meaningful skills, empathy, optimism and love, so they are empowered to make decisions in the best interest of their current and future selves. And may the next 18 months—and beyond—offer healing and hope.



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