Researchers at Northeastern University claim there is not a school shooting “epidemic” and schools are actually safer than in the 1990s, according to a study published last week.
Following the Parkland massacre, where 17 students and faculty were murdered and another 16 injured, policymakers and politicians are grappling with ways to combat school shootings.
The solution of reforming gun policies might be less effective in combating school shooting sprees.
“There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” said James Alan Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University, who led the research project with doctoral student Emma Fridel, Northeastern reported.
Their research emphasizes that school shootings are actually infrequent — only approximately one out of 20 to 30 mass shootings per year take place at a school.
The study also suggests that school shootings are lessening, approximately four times the amount of people were killed during shooting sprees in the 1990s compared to now.
Banning bump stocks and raising the age to purchase an assault rifle might do little to prevent school shootings.
In the past 35 years, there are only five cases where someone aged 18 to 20 used an assault rifle to carry out a mass shooting, Fox said.
“The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround,” Fox said.
The researcher alleges that increasing mental health programs and guidance counselors at schools are a more effective way to combat school shootings.
“You might have students in a very large school who are troubled but who are basically flying under the radar because you have one guidance counselor for 400 students,” Fridel said.
A guidance counselor to student ratio was approximately 482 to one during the 2014-2015 school year.
The American School Counselor Association advises that there should instead be a ratio of 250 students to one guidance counselor.
Arming teachers and making schools into “fortresses” with active shooter drills also might also do more harm than good, according to the researchers.
“I’m not a big fan of making schools look like fortresses, because they send a message to kids that the bad guy is coming for you — if we’re surrounding you with security, you must have a bull’s-eye on your back,” Fox added.
He did not elaborate on how a secure position would be more vulnerable to attack.
Fox is also the author of numerous books regarding criminology, including “Violence and Security on Campus” published in 2010.
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A version of this article previously appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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