There were 93 school shootings in the US in a recent two-year period but they were rarely committed by students. Sometimes they were former students of the school but new a survey analysis say their mental health issues may have been aggravated by memories of bullying.

Results from Data on 28,442 participants from the CDC’s National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys from 2017 and 2019  found that 3.3% of US high school students carried a weapon of some kind - club, any form of knife, or something that can be used as a club - at school. Males and females were respectively 3.5 and 3.9 times more likely to carry a weapon if they had been threatened or injured with a weapon at school, and 3.4 and 3.7 times more likely following a physical fight at school. 

The authors created sex-stratified, adjusted prevalence ratios, which were also adjusted for race/ethnicity, grade, sexual identity, current substance use, suicidal thoughts, and history of concussion. Among all students, 6.6% were threatened or injured with a weapon at school, 19.3% were bullied at school, 8.3% were in a physical fight at school, and 7.7% were absent from school due to safety concerns. Nearly half of males (48.8%) who experienced all of these forms of violence, and nearly a third of females (31.4%) who did, carried weapons at school. Males who felt unsafe were twice as likely to miss school, while females were three times more likely than those who didn’t report feeling unsafe.

Weapons provide safety from physical assault but increase the potential for injury and death when there is interpersonal conflict, so developing a better understanding of the relationship between exposure to violence and weapon carrying is essential for developing effective public health interventions. If a parent talks to a child and that child can't identify who the bully in their grade is, the parent needs to consider their child is the bully. School can only do so much and if bullying is persistent, a child may return when they are on psychiatric medication and old enough to buy a gun.