On Friday, December 14, 2012, a man armed with an assault rifle and two semi-automatic pistols entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and started shooting teachers and students. At the end of the massacre, 28 people had lost their lives. Six employees, the gunman’s mother and 20 children under the age of 7 were killed.
Sadly, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is only one of many deadly school massacres that litter American history.
The deadliest event in American school history occurred in 1927 but one could argue that we are currently living in the deadliest era. Two of the three deadliest massacres have occurred in the last five years. Five of the seven deadliest school massacres have occurred in the last 15 years.
More than 35 students have been killed in 2012 alone.
In addition to the 26 people killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, another seven were killed at Oikos University and another three died at Chardon High School.
The Sandy Hook shooting has re-sparked an ongoing debate about gun control in the United States. In his emotional address to the nation, President Obama said that it was time to take action regardless of politics.
“As a nation, we have endured far too many of these tragedies in the last few years. An elementary school in Newtown. A shopping mall in Oregon. A house of worship in Wisconsin. A movie theater in Colorado. Countless street corners in places like Chicago and Philadelphia. Any of these neighborhoods could be our own. So we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. Regardless of the politics.”
This list was compiled with the help of U.S. News, Listverse, and NBC News. The only factor considered to create the list was overall death count.
Here are the 10 deadliest school massacres in United States history.
The Bath School Disaster of 1927 – 45 Victims
Like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, most of the victims in the Bath School Disaster of 1927 were children. According to NPR, 38 schoolchildren, aged 7-14, were killed when a series of bombs went off in Bath Township, Michigan on May 18, 1927. The bombs also killed two teachers, four adults and another 58 people were wounded. The bomber, a school board member, was also killed during the deadliest school massacre in U.S. history.
Virginia Tech – 2007 – 33 Victims
A lone gunman killed 33 people, including himself, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, on April 16, 2007. It is considered the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history.
Sandy Hook Elementary – 2012 – 28 victims
The country was shocked this week when news broke that 28 people had been killed in Newtown, Connecticut. A young man armed with multiple weapons shot and killed 20 students, six teachers, and his mother before taking his own life. It’s still unclear what drove the gunman to commit this horrid act.