Parkland and Santa Fe Schools Reveal Shootings’ Effects on Students

After the active shooter attacks, both experienced increases in mental health and discipline issues, as well as drops in academic performance.
Published: October 11, 2019

The 2018 mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, have had devastating, quantifiable effects on the students who survived at those schools, as well as their districts.

Test scores have dropped and substance abuse and mental health issues have increased at both campuses, reports Politico. These effects were revealed in several federal Project SERV applications from the school districts.

  • 60% of all Santa Fe High School students had visited with a counselor experienced in trauma by the end of the school year that followed the tragedy
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas experienced a 78% increase in requests for additional support related to mental, physical and behavioral problems
  • At Parkland, the campus, which formerly ranked near the bottom of high schools with substance abuse issues, incidents involving substance abuse jumped up 20 places
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas experienced a “dramatic decrease” in students passing English and algebra assessments
  • In the district where Parkland is located:
    • Drug use or possession increased from 511 incidents in 2017 to 637 in 2018
    • “Other major offenses” rose from 317 to 367
    • Physical attacks increased from 34 to 128
    • Threats and intimidation increased from 337 to 368
    • Tobacco offenses increased from 127 to 439

Additionally, there are 200 fewer students enrolled in the Santa Fe ISD this year compared to last year. Half of the loss comes from Santa Fe High School where the mass shooting took place.

The Feb. 14, 2018 Parkland shooting resulted in 14 students and three campus employees being killed, while the Santa Fe shooting, which happened three months later, resulted in eight students and two teachers losing their lives.

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The information obtained from the Parkland and Santa Fe Project SERV applications is one of the clearest demonstrations of the damage mass shootings can have on a school and its students.

Previously, Campus Safety provided an overview of the cost of crime on K-12, higher education and healthcare campuses. These articles can be found here and here.

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