Kaplan Calls for More Resources for Survivors of School Shootings

Mark Kaplan, professor of social welfare, co-wrote an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times about the effects of repeat exposure to school shootings on youth and ways to help them. In K-12 schools alone, 338,000 children have been exposed to gun violence since 1999, the authors write. These adverse childhood experiences can increase the likelihood of mental health issues, chronic diseases, addiction and suicidal thoughts. The authors stressed the importance of providing support to communities, noting that implementing gun reform is a very slow process. They suggested providing schoolwide services for post-traumatic stress disorder after shootings; access to primary care, family therapy and grief support; and more trauma-informed practices. Writing days after a deadly shooting at Michigan State University, the authors concluded that students “deserve a comprehensive, science-informed, thoughtful gun violence prevention plan that puts them first and works to change the structures that can lead to shootings like the one at MSU.”


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