2018 K12 Shooting Statistics Highlight Need for Safety Tools


Enhancing K12 Safety

According to statistics compiled by the Naval Postgraduate School‘s Center for Homeland Defense and Security and reported by Campus Safety Magazine, 2018 saw some of the highest figures related to school shooting incidents since 1970. The center’s database “documents every instance a gun is wielded, fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims, time, day of the week, or reason.”

The data compiled showed 2018 had high statistics in two areas in particular:

  • 2018 had the greatest number of incidents since 1970 with 82 recorded incidents.
  • 2018 was also the highest year for the number of victims killed with 51 (this includes incidents where the shooter was killed).

While these data points highlight how pervasive and dangerous active shooter situations have become in K12 schools, there are measures that can be taken to enhance safety in schools and districts around the country. In this blog post, we’ll outline a few ideas schools can implement to bolster the safety of their learning environments and protect students and staff from dangerous events.

Active Shooter Strategies

Due to how common shooting incidents have become, resources are readily available that help organizations train for active shooter scenarios. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers tools for human resources and security professionals on its website to aid in active shooter preparation. These free resources include webinars, workshops and an independent study course to provide guidance on how to respond to an active shooter situation. Booklets, pamphlets, and posters are also available to download.

Explore more resources from the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security advocates an active shooter strategy called Run. Hide. Fight. The goal is to get people out of the area where the shooter is and to a place where they can contact authorities and prevent others from entering a dangerous situation. If people are unable to evacuate, they are encouraged to hide somewhere where they are not in the shooter’s view, but also in a place where they are not trapping themselves. As a last resort, DHS recommends trying to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter through loud noises or throwing objects.

An alternative to this strategy is the active shooter training provided by ALICE. This training is based on five components that make up its name: alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. People need to be made aware of a crisis situation so they can begin responding to it (alert). Once alerted, people can lock down the room they are in, especially if it is unsafe to evacuate. While the situation is underway, people should utilize the tools they have available to inform others about the location of the active shooter, and the direction the person is headed. As with Run. Hide. Fight., as a last resort, if someone encounters the shooter, they are encouraged to disrupt their ability to shoot by creating any form of distraction (counter). It is important to note that this not considered the same as confronting the shooter to fight them. Finally, once people know it is safe to do so, they can evacuate.

These are just two strategies K12 schools can choose from, and which one they use is going to be determined by which they think will be most effective. It’s important to explore all options before making a decision.

Take a closer look at these two active shooter strategies

Safety Tools for Active Shooter Scenarios

Another way K12 schools can enhance safety during active shooter incidents is by leveraging tools that provided added protection and communication that keep people out of harm’s way. Our emergency notification software can send alerts as SMS text, phones calls, emails, audio broadcasts and more to desk phones, mobile devices, desktop computers, IP speakers and digital signage. It offers K12 schools the ability to reach every device and classroom with critical safety information and helpful instructions. School administrators can prebuild messages and groups so with a push of a button, the right people are alerted about a situation.

These are just some of the tools and strategies K12 schools can use to enhance safety during active shooter events. For more ideas, download our 12-month K12 safety planning eBook.




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