Incidents of violence at schools has risen world-wide at an alarming rate in the past several years. The purpose of this node is to chronicle the incidents, not to pass judgement or promote gun control.

I am only writing up incidents of gun violence. I urge others to contribute write-ups on incidents that I have missed.

February 29
Mount Morris Township, Michigan:
A first-grader shot and mortally wounded another 6-year old, one day after the two had quarrelled in the schoolyard, authorities said.

November 16
Pontiac, Michigan:
Nathaniel Abraham, one of the country's youngest murder defendants was convicted of second-degree murder for a shooting that occurred when he was 11.

May 20
Conyers, Georgia:
Exactly one month after the Columbine shootings, a 15 year old sophomore with two guns opened fire, wounding six classmates before surrendering to authorities.

April 20
Littleton, Colorado:
Two heavily armed young men stormed a suburban Denver high school and, in a shooting rampage on a scale unprecedented in an American school, killed 15 people including themselves and wounded another 28.

June 15
Richmond, Virginia:
Quinshawn Booker, 14, is charged as an adult for opening fire in a crowded high school hallway. Booker, who allegedly was angry with another student, is accused of the wounding of a 45-year-old social studies teacher and a 74-year-old Head Start volunteer. Booker pleaded guilty to five charges and will remain at a school for troubled boys until he completes its program.

May 21
Springfield, Oregon:
Armed with three guns, 15-year-old Kipland Kinkel allegedly opens fire in a high school cafeteria, killing a student and wounding 19; another student died later. His parents are later found dead in his home. Kinkel pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and 26 of attempted murder. He could be sentenced to as little as 25 years in prison.

May 19
Fayetteville, Tennessee: Jacob Davis, an 18-year-old honor student, awaits trial for fatally shooting a classmate, who was dating his ex-girlfriend, in his school's parking lot.

April 24
Edinboro, Pennsylvania:
A science teacher is shot to death in front of students at middle school graduation dance. Fourteen- year-old Andrew Wurst is charged and will be tried as an adult.

March 24
Jonesboro, Arkansas:
Four girls and a teacher are shot to death and 10 others wounded during a false fire alarm at a middle school. Thirteen-year-old Mitchell Johnson and 11-year-old Andrew Golden killed four classmates and a revered teacher were found guilty of capital murder. They were committed to a state detention center under a controversial juvenile sentencing law that will allow them to walk out of jail by their 21st birthdays.

December 1
West Paducah, Kentucky:
Three students are killed and five wounded while praying in a high school hallway. Fourteen- year-old student Michael Carneal is arrested and pleads guilty but mentally ill on Oct. 5 to three counts of murder and six other charges related to the shooting spree. Carneal was sentenced Dec. 17 to life in prison without possibility of parole for 25 years.

October 1
Pearl, Mississippi:
Sixteen-year-old Luke Woodham stabs his mother to death, then goes to his high school and shoots nine students. Two die, including the suspect's ex-girlfriend, seven others are wounded. Authorities accused six friends of conspiracy. Woodham was convicted as an adult in June 1998 and is serving three life sentences.

February 2
Moses Lake, Washington:
Barry Loukaitis, 14, walks into a junior high algebra class and opens fire with a hunting rifle, killing the teacher and two students and wounding one other student. In October 1997, Loukaitis was convicted of two counts of aggravated first-degree murder and sentenced to two mandatory life terms without parole.

Timeline taken directly from & reformatted for E2
Spring 1988: Pinellas County, Florida. Pinellas Park High School -- two students in the cafeteria with guns fatally shoot an assistant principal and wound another teacher and a student teacher. (Later school officials would block distribution of a student newspaper containing the account of events.) Didn't even make the national news, maybe because there was only one death and it was an adult (though that casualties were so relatively light was pure luck). School violence is not new; it's only newly bloody enough to make the news.

Sources: and St. Petersburg Times article "Painful reminders for some" from the series "MASSACRE AT SCHOOL" by Stephen Hegarty, April 2, 1999.

Graffitoed inscription found on the wall of a Roman villa excavated in the early 1990's in the Rhineland just south of Remagen (a farm settlement between the colonies of Colonia Agrippinensis and Confluentes, probably dating to the time of Claudius. This is from memory, so forgive me if it is a bit paraphrased:

1st Boy: I don't want to go to school; the master beats me!
2nd Boy: Rightly! Only because you're so dumb.
1st Boy: I'll beat you myself if you say that again!

This is the earliest record of school violence I know of, though certainly it must have existed earlier.

December 6, 1989
École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada

On the last day of finals, Marc Lépine enters the school, and goes on a shooting rampage, targeting women. After killing fourteen women, he turns the gun on himself. On the suicide note found on his body, he blames them for his failures.

In Memoriam
Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Barbara Maria Klucznik
Maryse Leclair
Annie St-Arneault
Michèle Richard
Maryse Laganière
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Annie Turcotte

March 13, 1996

Thomas Hamilton, a 43 year old gun enthusiast strolls into Dunblane Primary School, with two semi-automatic pistols and two revolvers. He fires 106 times, mostly in the school gym, where a primary 1 (Kindergarten) class is about to start their lesson.

Sixteen children were killed by Hamilton, as was their teacher, who may have died in an attempt to shield them. The twelve other students in the class were all injured by gunfire.

Once he had finished his rampage, Hamilton drew a pistol and took his own life.

Hamilton had previously lost his job as a Boy Scout leader, and was having difficulty hiring out school rooms and community halls for his own boys' clubs due to allegations of taking photos of young boys, and in some cases, touching them. The attack, seemingly random, is thought to have been in anger to the local council's attitude towards him.

a fuller report is available at

Reason: "I just started shooting, that's it. I just did it for the fun of it. I just don't like Mondays....I just did it because it's a way to cheer the day up. Nobody likes Mondays."

January 29, 1979, San Carlos, CA. Brenda Spencer was 16, using a rifle she got for a Christmas present - she'd always had an interest in guns. As Cleveland Elementary School, across the street from her house, opened up, Spencer opened fire on the students in the playground. The principal and head janitor went out to pull the children back, and both were shot and killed. Nine kids were also injured, although none died. Eventually, the police drove a garbage truck in to block her from shooting. She barricaded herself in the house, and after a few hours of talk with the police, she surrendered.


Stephen King publishes Rage under the nom de plume of Richard Bachman. In this intense short story, a student who is not among the popular kids, and who has a less-than-idyllic home life, brings his father's handgun to school and kills a teacher and (I believe) one other student. The year 1977 is remarkable for two reasons: first, none of the students who have participated in the sensationalistic copycat killings were alive in 1977; second, despite the fact that the book sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and the plot read like a HOWTO on school shootings, no school shootings were reported in 1977.

So far this node has been more a listing of specific examples of school violence, specifically the fairly dramatic school shootings that get tons of media attention and a encourage a climate of fear. Violence in urban schools related to gangs and violence involving other weapons or even without weapons is not mentioned at all even though they are far more common. In his write-up Roland claims "Incidents of violence at schools has risen world-wide at an alarming rate in the past several years." He goes one to list various dramatic incidents, all shootings, taken from the Washington Post to back up this claim.

Actually despite the increase in dramatic cases of multiple victims, like the Columbine shootings, school violence in general, and homicides in schools are going down, and have been since 1992. There were 40 school shooting deaths during the 1997-98 school year, down from 55 in 1992-93. (National School Safety Center at Pepperdine University). The chances of a child being killed at school are less than one in a million, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. The most current data on school violence (not just homicides) in the United States also indicates that over all school violence (including rape, sexual assault, robbery, attacks with weapons, and suicide) has been declining since 1993. Schools are actually the safest places for children to be; 99% of children die away from school, (Washington Post, Justice Policy Institute). Children are far more likely to be victims of violent crime at home or in their neighborhoods and most crime in schools is non-violent theft. (U.S. Department of Education, 1999).

April 28, 1999 - Taber, Alberta, Canada

A 14-year-old former student of W.R. Myers High School shot two 17-year-old boys he hardly knew with a sawed off .22-calibre rifle. One of his few friends is quoted as saying "The coverage of Colorado is what made him do it. He thought maybe people would pay attention to him." Under the Young Offenders Act, the assailant is anonymous. The Justice Minister Anne McLellan said Canada needs better public education to let people "understand that firearms are potentially dangerous things." A search of the shooter's house uncovered 12 guns. His peers say he was the target of ceaseless teasing and bullying from the day he arrived, a friend said "even the nerds picked on him." He often arrived to class with cuts and bruises. He dropped out of school a few months prior to the shooting.

info from,9171,1107990510-25025,00.html and the fragments of memories of newspaper articles and TV news reports from after the shooting

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