My apologies for ignoring the blog this week. I've been battling some nasty bug, and just haven't had the energy to keep up my usual early-morning routine.
Yesterday, the Mayor asked me to do a little research for him. We have been talking about school safety lately, and he was interested in the relative frequency of school shootings at high schools compared to middle schools and elementary schools. I thought that would be a 10 minute job, but it proved to be a little more complicated than I imagined.
While I could find lots of compilations with a simple Google search, I quickly noticed that not all of these lists agreed: there were shootings on some that were not on others, some of the dates didn't line up, and so forth. In some cases, the details were too sketchy to determine how many people were killed or injured, or what kind of school it was, without further research. There doesn't seem to be a definitive and authoritative tally, and most of these appear to be assembled from news reports around the country. I finally settled on three lists, and cross checked to try to get as close to a complete picture as I could. While I imagine there still may be some missing data, here's the summary I put together for him of school shootings by school type over the past twenty years: