School Bullying Facts: School Shootings – Are They Linked?


Let’s talk about school bullying facts and how they relate to school shootings. Every day, as my children get on the bus for school, I give them hugs and tell them to have a good day, be kind and stay safe. It seems slightly odd to me that my fears have grown from things like, Will they make a nice friend? to Will they come home alive?

Things are very different from my days of skipping to school. I worried about memorizing multiplication facts and fire drills. Now, children have “Code Red Lockdown Drills,” in which the kids hide under their desks, teachers lock the doors and do their best to keep children calm. Some schools go as far as practicing putting tables in front of their classroom doors to make barricades.

Related: Did You Know these Five Facts about Bullying in History?

School bullying facts: Are school shootings linked to bullying?

Bullying and school shootings conjure up recollections of one of the more publicized tragedies…Columbine. Immediately, we want to know the reason for such devastation. The general belief is that the two gunmen were bullied into retaliation.

Perhaps there is a grain of truth in it, but according to the FBI and its squad of psychiatrists and psychologists, the teens had serious psychological problems and picked the school in order to create destruction on a larger scale. Michigan State University psychiatrist Dr. Frank Ochberg, and Supervisory Special Agent Dwayne Fuselier, the FBI’s lead Columbine investigator and a clinical psychologist, explained that their goal was to “cause devastating infamy on the historical scale.” They felt school shootings in the name of retaliation were “beneath them” and the chosen location was more an easy and convenient host of easy prey. In fact, they often enjoyed bragging about bullying other students.

So where does that leave school bullying facts as they relate to school school shootings? Opinions vary as statistics can be interpreted in different ways.

  • A chart created by the National School Safety Center shows non-gang related, non-suicide on campus school firearm related deaths are on the decline. Note that the numbers don’t include incidents in which no one was killed or injured.
  • During the 1990s, 12 of the 15 school shooting cases were associated with bullying according government website, Stop Bullying.
  • The U.S. Secret Service Safe School Initiative analysis of 37 school shootings, ranging from 1974-2000 found evidence of school bullying, ostracism and social rejection in over two-thirds of cases.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey of high school students and found that bullied students who are threatened or injured by a weapon on school property were eight times more likely to carry a weapon to campus.

Studies and numbers paint a rather concerning picture of what bullying facts  in our school systems looks like. Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, summed up the findings of the CDC’s report in a rather apt statement…

Looking at these risk factors, it’s not hard to know who’s most likely to carry a weapon to school. The CDC gave us the dots — we connected them. The data is staggering.”

In the current year (2014), three incidents of bullying resulted in students later bringing a weapon to school. One of those cases ended with 20 peers and a security guard being stabbed by a 16 year-old student in a school near Pittsburgh.

Everyone can form their own opinions as to whether or not school bullying and shootings are linked, but there are ways to overcome the problem. Read up on ways to Stop Bullying When the School Won’t Help or great suggestions on How to Talk to Your Teen About Sexting and Bullying.

Do you think that bullying and school shootings are linked? How can we help stop further violence in our schools?

3 thoughts on “School Bullying Facts: School Shootings – Are They Linked?”

  1. I think that the two could be linked together based on the evidence of other shootings in the schools. Of course, there has been outside people who have come into the schools. I think that bullying should be address in the schools to help curb violence and school shootings. Will it end everything, probably not but prevention is the best thing that you can do. I think parents should do what they can do to help with the situation especially if their child is being bullied. As a mom, when something happens to my kids or they start participating in dumb things their peers are doing I get on the phone and call the school. I make teachers and staff know about the problem so that they can keep an eye on things and make an effort to stop it.

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