School shootings in 2020-21 are the most in two decades, finds a new federal report looking at crime and safety in US schools.
The National Center for Educational Statistics released a 31-page report on Tuesday that found there were at least 93 casualties in public and private schools across the US in 2021-21.
The number represents the highest total since data collection began, the agency said, marking a major increase from 23 incidents recorded in the 2000-01 school year.
Of the 93 incidents recorded in the 2020-21 school year, 43 involved fatalities and 50 injuries.
“Although the rate of non-fatal violent abuse at school for 12 to 18-year-olds was lower in 2019 than in 2019, compared with any other year since data collection began in the early 2000s Casualties were high in the U.S., rising from 11 in 2009 to 93 in 2021,” NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr said in a news release.
“While the lasting impact of these crime and safety issues cannot be measured in statistics alone, these data are valuable to the efforts of our policy makers, school officials and community members to identify and implement preventive and responsive measures ,” said Carr.
The report has a broad definition of shooting-related incidents, including those in which guns are fired or fired on school property. This also includes any shootings that occurred on school property during remote instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Its findings come on the heels of the deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were shot.
In the weeks following the deadly mass shooting, there have been widespread nationwide calls for strict gun control measures. And lawmakers appear to be listening, with President Joe Biden signing on Saturday the most comprehensive legislation designed to curb gun violence in nearly 30 years.
The bill grants states to “red flag” laws, expands background checks to include juvenile records and closes “boyfriend loopholes” by keeping guns away from unmarried dating partners convicted of abuse. This would require increased background checks for people aged 18 to 21 and funding for youth mental health services.
Biden signed the bill into law shortly before departing for Europe for a string of meetings with world leaders.
The president said the signing of the law represented a “commemorative day” and said it was proof that Democrats and Republicans can find common ground on key issues.
“God willing, this is going to save a lot of lives,” he said.
Chantal da Silva is a breaking news editor for NBC News Digital based in London.