Is school safety mainly about school shootings? Research-informed guidance for the field

Matthew J. Mayer, Ron Avi Astor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


School violence, and particularly, school shootings, remain a serious concern among parents, community members, educators, and governmental leadership at the local, state, and national levels. While school shootings periodically dominate media coverage of school safety issues, schools are among the safest places for students in the community. This article unpacks key issues central to the field. We provide an overview of school violence program coherence, curriculum alignment, staff development, support systems to meet student needs, and related capacity issues. The article also explores issues not commonly included in the school safety literature such as gangs and weapons in school and the conflation of mental health problems and violent behavior. We offer take-away implications from the extant literature that is relevant for schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPreventing School Failure
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


  • safe schools
  • school shootings
  • school violence


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