CDC has been collecting data on school-associated violent deaths since 1992. The system, which was developed in partnership with the Departments of Education and Justice, monitors school-associated violent deaths at the national level. Information is collected each year from media databases, police, and school officials. The School-Associated Violent Death Study (SAVD) presents the most recent data available on school-associated violent deaths; common features of these events; and potential risk factors for perpetration and victimization. Data obtained from this study play an important role in monitoring and assessing national trends in school-associated violent deaths, and help to inform efforts to prevent fatal school violence.
A case is defined as a fatal injury (e.g., homicide, suicide, or legal intervention) that occurs on school property, on the way to/from school, or during or on the way to/from a school-sponsored event. Only violent deaths associated with U.S. elementary and secondary schools, both public and private, are included.
According to CDC's School Associated Violent Death Study, between 14 and 34 school-age children are victims of homicide on school grounds on their way to and from school—each and every year.
Most school-associated violent deaths occur during transition times – immediately before and after the school day and during lunch. 1
Violent deaths are more likely to occur at the start of each semester.2
Nearly 50 percent of homicide perpetrators gave some type of warning signal, such as making a threat or leaving a note, prior to the event.1
Firearms used in school-associated homicides and suicides came primarily from the perpetrator's home or from friends or relatives.3
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 5-18. Data from this study indicate that between 1% and 2% of these deaths happen on school grounds or on the way to or from school. These findings underscore the importance of preventing violence at school as well as in communities.