School-associated student homicides--United States, 1992-2006

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008 Jan 18;57(2):33-6.


School-associated student homicide events, especially those involving multiple victims, generate considerable media attention, prompting questions regarding whether rates of school-associated violent deaths are increasing and regarding the characteristics of such events. During the 1990s, the rate of school-associated single-victim student homicides decreased significantly, whereas rates for school-associated homicides in which two or more students were killed (i.e., multiple-victim homicides) increased. Additional studies of such events during the same decade documented the rarity of lethal school-associated violence. To 1) update temporal trends in rates for school-associated student homicides during July 1992-June 2006 and 2) describe the epidemiologic characteristics of school-associated student homicides that occurred during July 1999-June 2006 (the period for which the most recent data are available), CDC analyzed data from the School-Associated Violent Death (SAVD) study. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that rates of school-associated student homicides decreased during the overall period, July 1992-June 2006, but stabilized during July 1999-June 2006, when 116 students were killed in 109 school-associated homicide events. Although school-associated student homicides are rare and represent approximately 1% of homicides that occur among school-age youths, schools should expand use of comprehensive measures to prevent behaviors that often precede fatal violence. In addition, comprehensive approaches that address risk factors and protective risk factors for violence at the individual, family, school, and community levels will help address violence both on and off school grounds.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology