Research

School House Hype: School Shootings and the Real Risks Kids Face in America

During the 1997-98 school year, the American public was riveted by the images: small town and suburban schools taped off by police-lines, paramedics rushing to wheel tiny bodies away on gurneys and kids being carted off in hand-cuffs. As the national news media poured into Pearl, Mississippi; West Paducah, Kentucky; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Edinboro, Pennsylvania and Springfield, Oregon; the magnified coverage of these highly unusual crime stories turned into what some news outlets described as “an all-too-familiar story” or “another in a recent trend.” Even a non-fatal shooting in Richmond, Virginia garnered national headlines in June because it occurred in a high school hallway during final exams.

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