US House Passes Bill to Track School Shootings (September 27, 2019)

On September 18, 2019, the US House Education Committee passed the School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act, which is legislation that would require the federal government to track the demographics and motivations of school shooters and the demographics of their victims.  The proposed legislation also officially defines a school shooting as an incident “during which one or more individuals were injured or killed by a firearm; and that occurred … in, or on the grounds of, a school, even if before or after school hours; while the victim was traveling to or from a regular session at school; or while the victim was attending or traveling to or from an official school sponsored event.” The definition would exclude accidental shootings.

The law would also require the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to collect information about a school’s safety protocols if a shooting occurs there, from its emergency response plans to its building design. The bill would further require the feds to track the type of firearms used in school shootings, how they were obtained, and whether the school where a shooting occurred had armed educators. 

Since the start of 2018, Education Week has maintained a tracker of school shootings. To date for 2019, we have counted 18 school shootings, resulting in three people killed and 34 injured.