Students Believe School Shootings are Top Issue Facing US


School shootings are a primary driver of student activism and political interest, a new study found.

In a study shared by Axios, 68 percent of people aged 14 to 29 said school shootings are the most important issue facing the US.

“The issue connects young Americans unlike anything except 9/11 in the last 20 years,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, told Axios.

Della Volpe said nearly 31 percent of those polled voted in the midterm elections, almost double the 2014 midterm turnout.

These findings are in line with NACAC’s own research. The intensity of the current political climate has led to increased activism among students at more than half (52 percent) of all secondary schools across the US, according to a recent NACAC research brief.

NACAC also issued a statement in 2018 urging President Donald Trump and Congress to implement meaningful steps to reduce gun violence in schools, calling for:

  • Measures to address easy access to semiautomatic weapons and accessories that increase their lethalness;
  • Restored funding for programs aimed at minimizing violence;
  • Rejection of proposals to arm educators as a way to curb gun violence in schools;
  • Funding for school districts to hire additional school counselors.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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