science-of-fearAre they really? In the 1997-98 school year, thirty-four students were killed in the United States. In 2004-05—the latest year for which data are available—there were twenty-two homicides. Each homicide represents a tragedy, but these numbers should be kept firmly in perspective. For one thing, vastly more young people are killed outside school. In 1997-98, for every one young person killed in a school, fifty-three were killed elsewhere. Six years later, for every one killing inside, there were seventy-five outside. The enormous size of America’s school population must also be considered. In 1997-98, there were about 52 million kids in school, and with a number that large it is inevitable that even the most fantastically rare danger will strike somewhere. The simple fact is, the average American student had a 0.00006 percent chance of being murdered at school in 1997-98. That’s 1 in 1,529,412. And the risk has shrunk since then.

The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner