Summer break is wrapping up for school districts across America, and administrators are already bracing for more school shootings in 2018.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that “active shooter insurance” (also referred to as “active assailant insurance) is becoming more prevalent given the propensity of school shootings in America. The Journal spoke with Lance Erlwein, treasurer of Belpre City Schools in Southeastern Ohio, who purchased active shooter coverage for his district in 2017 that covers up to $25,000 in death benefits per victim.
“It at least gives us some peace of mind that, in the event of horrible tragedy, we can begin to put things in place,” Erlwein said, adding that no administrator would have thought to purchase active shooter insurance 15 years ago. “It’s awful that schools have become the target.”
2018 was a particularly deadly year for school shootings. On May 25, 2018, CNN calculated that just 21 weeks into 2018, there were already 23 school shootings in more than a dozen states, amounting to more than one per week. Among the deadliest school shootings were the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 15 students and two teachers were killed by a lone gunman wielding an AR-15 rifle, and the Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas on May 18, in which ten were killed.
CNN’s count used the criteria of at least one person shot on public K-12 school or university grounds (not including the shooter),and also included shootings stemming from gang violence, fights, or domestic violence, as well as accidental discharge of a firearm assuming the shooting happened on school grounds and someone other than the shooter was injured, in order to determine what counted as a school shooting.
However, many thousands of other children have been exposed to school shootings ever since the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado in 1999. A Washington Post analysis of data from every school that’s experiencing a shooting over the last 19 years, based on the number of children who were in school the day of a shooting, found that approximately 215,000 students likely experienced emotional trauma from being exposed to gun violence while at school.
The Journal reports that Ohio-based company McGowan Program Administrators has written more than 300 active shooter insurance policies for public school districts, charter schools, private schools, and universities since 2016.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Grit Post does not publish the names of mass shooters, and we discourage other media outlets from doing so in order to avoid contributing to future mass shootings by making killers famous.)
Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.