WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A 19-year-old former student was shot and killed after a high school basketball game a week ago in Beloit, Wisconsin. On Monday, a shooting outside Chaparral High School in Las Vegas left three teens hospitalized.
On Tuesday, five teenage girls were shot and injured outside Rufus King High School in Milwaukee. Also Tuesday, a student was killed and another shot outside the South Education Center in Minneapolis, the only of these
cases in which suspects were arrested. Two students from the school have been charged.
Signs are emerging that the stresses and challenges of the pandemic are worsening gun violence in American schools. Researchers who are studying the phenomenon worry it will only get worse.
Already, campuses have been the site of 141 shootings so far during the 2021-22 school year - more than at any point in the previous decade, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
Problems that predated the pandemic - such as inequality and inadequate resources - have grown worse even as COVID-19 has introduced new challenges, like creating such stress that half of teachers say they want to quit or retire early, according to recent surveys by the National Education Association.
What that means is there are now and will continue to be fewer adults connected to students who can see warning signs that a child may be heading toward violent behavior.
“Kids are walking into a system that has been massively weakened,” said Ron Avi Astor, a school violence expert at UCLA. “We’re going to see a variety of different forms of gun violence and violence in general. We’re in a situation where things are going to get worse.”