Six months after the mass murder of young students at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, shootings at U.S. schools appear to have reached a five-year high, according to Education Week. The nonprofit magazine reports that 34 people have been killed and 88 have been injured as a result of 40 shootings at schools this year.
But James Alan Fox, a Northeastern professor who maintains the longest-running and most extensive data source on mass killings, says that many of those events do not meet the traditional criteria.
What constitutes a school shooting?
Fox notes that people tend to define school shootings as tragic events that victimize students during classroom hours: At Virginia Tech, where 32 people (including 27 students) were killed in 2007; at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 26 people (including 20 first-grade students) were killed in 2012; at Robb Elementary School, where 21 people (including 19 students who were 10 years or younger) were killed.
Fox says that the tabulations of Education Week do not meet the traditional criteria because many of the events in 2022 took place at school rather than in school.