Anew survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that 57 percent of American teens aged 13 to 17 fear about the possibility of a shooting happening at their school.
The survey, which was conducted from March 7 to April 12, 2018 on 743 teens, shows that a majority of high schoolers across the United States have varying degrees of worry about a possible shooting happening in their campus. One in four American teenagers say they are very worried, while one in three reveal they are somewhat worried.
Minority students are more worried about school shootings than white students, according to the survey. “Roughly two-thirds (64%) of nonwhite teens, including 73% of Hispanics, say they are at least somewhat worried about this, compared with 51% of white teens,” wrote the Pew Research Center on their website. Moreover, more girls are afraid of shootings happening at their school than boys, with 64 percent of female teenage students reporting that they’re worried about school shootings compared to 51 percent of boys.
Those who have expressed little to no worry about shootings happening at their school are in the minority. Twenty-nine percent of teenagers surveyed say they are not too worried about school shootings, while 13 percent claim they are totally not worried about it.
The survey was conducted almost a month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which took the lives of 17 students and teachers.
According to the Washington Post, since the Columbine massacre in 1999, more than 150,000 students from 170 elementary and secondary schools across the United States have experienced a school shooting. Research on the psychological effects of shootings on survivors is scant, but anecdotal evidence of their long-lasting impact on survivors have been observed. Columbine shooting survivors, for example, have reported still experiencing “debilitating” anxiety from the fateful event, which occurred almost 20 years ago.
Heather Martin was a senior at Columbine when the shooting happened, and she says her anxiety can be triggered by fire alarms. Fire alarms continually sounded at Columbine during the shooting.
Martin is one of the founders of The Rebel Project, a survivors support group established by Columbine survivors in the aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting in 2012.
Negative educational effects of school shootings on students have also been documented. One research, headed by Louis-Philippe Beland and Dongwoo Kim, discovered that alongside a decrease in school attendance, test scores, particularly in math and English, dropped in schools that experienced shootings — even three years after the event.