This conversation between David Riedman, creator of the K12 School Shooting Database, and Dr. Sonali Rajan highlights a critical issue in school safety – the lack of robust evidence on the effectiveness of various tactics and policies implemented to prevent gun violence in K-12 schools. 

Listen by clicking this link: Episode 7: Conversation with Dr. Sonali Rajan on Using Data to Reduce Gun Violence at Schools

 Dr. Rajan and her team of researchers at Columbia University have just released a groundbreaking paper titled “Protocol for a Nationwide Case-Control Study of Firearm Violence Prevention Tactics and Policies in K-12 Schools.”  

The study’s approach of using case-control methodology is significant because it allows for a direct comparison between schools that have experienced shootings and those that have not. By analyzing 27 school safety strategies organized into seven key exposure groupings, the study provides a comprehensive evaluation of various tactics and policies implemented in schools.

This methodology addresses a critical gap in current research. While there is data on school shootings, as evidenced by resources like the K-12 School Shooting Database  (K12 SSDB), there has been limited rigorous analysis of the effectiveness of various safety measures implemented in schools.

By combining the detailed incident data from the K-12 SSDB with information on safety strategies from a representative sample of schools, this study aims to provide novel and much-needed evidence on which tactics and policies are most effective in preventing intentional shootings in K-12 public schools. This approach could significantly inform future policy decisions and strategies for enhancing school safety.

This is a timely podcast with two leaders in the gun violence prevention research ecosystem. I am honored to know them and appreciate their dedication to children/teen safety in our schools.



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