School uniforms: Do they really improve student achievement, behavior?

This updated collection of research looks at how mandatory school uniforms impact student achievement, attendance and behavior as well as the presence of gangs in public schools.

Students wearing school uniforms

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by Denise-Marie Ordway, The Journalist's Resource April 20, 2018

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Decades ago, uniforms were mostly worn by students who went to private or parochial schools. But as local school boards have focused more on improving standardized test scores and campus safety, a growing number have begun requiring school uniforms — typically, a polo shirt of a particular color paired with navy or khaki pants, skirts or shorts. Nearly 22 percent of public schools in the United States required uniforms in 2015-16 — up from almost 12 percent in 1999-2000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Proponents argue that students will pay more attention to their classwork if they aren’t preoccupied with fashion, and that they’ll be better behaved. Meanwhile, school administrators say uniforms help eliminate gang-related styles and logos. They also make it easier to spot a stranger on campus.

Despite their reported benefits, mandatory uniforms are controversial because a lot of parents and students don’t like the idea of forcing children to dress alike, which they say suppresses freedom of expression. Some families complain about the financial burden of purchasing uniforms in addition to their kids’ other clothing. Years ago, parents also complained that it was difficult to find uniforms, but that ceased to be an issue after large chain stores like Target and Wal-Mart began selling them.

As public schools debate the merits of uniforms — some school boards have been bouncing the idea around for years — it’s important for journalists to know what the research says on this topic. School officials do not always consult academic research before they put a plan on the table.

To help journalists ground their reporting and fact-check claims, Journalist’s Resource has rounded up several academic studies worth reviewing. Reporters may also want to examine reports on uniform use from the NCES, which collects and reports data related to school uniforms, dress codes and book bags in public schools.


 “School Discipline, School Uniforms and Academic Performance” Baumann, Chris; Krskova, Hana. International Journal of Educational Management , 2016. DOI: 10.1108/IJEM-09-2015-0118.

Summary: This study examines test scores and student behavior in the United States, Canada and 37 other countries to determine whether uniforms affect student discipline. The researchers found that the highest-performing students are the most disciplined. In addition, “for countries where students wear school uniforms, our study found that students listen significantly better, there are lower noise levels, and lower teaching waiting times with classes starting on time.”

“Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior” Gentile, Elizabetta; Imberman, Scott A. Journal of Urban Economics , 2012, Vol. 71. doi: 10.1016/j.jue.2011.10.002.

Abstract: “Uniform use in public schools is rising, but we know little about how they affect students. Using a unique dataset from a large urban school district in the southwest United States, we assess how uniforms affect behavior, achievement and other outcomes. Each school in the district determines adoption independently, providing variation over schools and time. By including student and school fixed-effects we find evidence that uniform adoption improves attendance in secondary grades, while in elementary schools they generate large increases in teacher retention.”

“Uniforms in the Middle School: Student Opinions, Discipline Data, and School Police Data” Sanchez, Jafeth E.; Yoxsimer, Andrew; Hill, George C. Journal of School Violence , 2012. DOI: 10.1080/15388220.2012.706873.

Summary: Researchers asked students at an urban middle school in Nevada what they thought of having to wear uniforms. Their public school had adopted a uniform policy after staff members became frustrated with the earlier dress code policy, which resulted in girls wearing revealing clothing and boys wearing shirts with inappropriate messages and images. The study’s main takeaway: The vast majority of students said they dislike uniforms, although some agreed there were benefits. “For example, in reference to gender, more than expected females than males indicated students treated them better with uniforms. Also, fewer females than males got detention for not wearing a uniform or for wearing a uniform inappropriately.”

“Are School Uniforms a Good Fit? Results from the ECLS-K and the NELS” Yeung, Ryan. Educational Policy , 2009, Vol. 23. doi: 10.1177/0895904808330170.

Abstract: “One of the most common proposals put forth for reform of the American system of education is to require school uniforms. Proponents argue that uniforms can make schools safer and also improve school attendance and increase student achievement. Opponents contend that uniforms have not been proven to work and may be an infringement on the freedom of speech of young people. Within an econometric framework, this study examines the effect of school uniforms on student achievement. It tackles methodological challenges through the use of a value-added functional form and the use of multiple data sets. The results do not suggest any significant association between school uniform policies and achievement. Although the results do not definitely support or reject either side of the uniform argument, they do strongly intimate that uniforms are not the solution to all of American education’s ills.”

“Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Use, and Academic Achievement” Brunsma, David L.; Rockquemore, Kerry A. The Journal of Educational Research , 1998, Vol. 92. doi: 10.1080/00220679809597575.

Abstract: “Mandatory uniform policies have been the focus of recent discourse on public school reform. Proponents of such reform measures emphasize the benefits of student uniforms on specific behavioral and academic outcomes. Tenth-grade data from The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 was used to test empirically the claims made by uniform advocates. The findings indicate that student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems, or attendance. Contrary to current discourse, the authors found a negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement. Uniform policies may indirectly affect school environment and student outcomes by providing a visible and public symbol of commitment to school improvement and reform.”

“School Uniforms, Academic Achievement, and Uses of Research” Bodine, Ann. The Journal of Educational Research , 2003, Vol. 97. doi: 10.1080/00220670309597509.

Abstract: “School uniforms are being advocated for a range of social, educational, economic, and familial reasons. In 1998, The Journal of Educational Research (The JER) published an article by D. Brunsma and K. Rockquemore that claims that uniforms correlate negatively with academic achievement, but data presented in this article actually show positive correlation between uniforms and achievement for the total sample, and for all but 1 school sector. Examination of structure of argument reveals that the erroneous claim results from misleading use of sector analysis. Simultaneous with The JER article, and on the basis of the same National Education Longitudinal Study: 1988 database, an Educational Testing Service article reported that no correlation exists between uniforms and achievement. The two articles are contrasted in this study. The effect of new communication technology in amplifying political uses of academic research is discussed.”

“Public School Uniforms: Effect on Perceptions of Gang Presence, School Climate, and Student Self-Perceptions” Wade, Kathleen Kiley; Stafford, Mary E. Education and Urban Society , 2003, Vol. 35. doi: 10.1177/0013124503255002.

Abstract: “This study attempts to clarify the relationships between public school uniforms and some of their intended results: student self-worth and student and staff perceptions of gang presence and school climate. The instruments used in the study included a questionnaire on gang presence and identity, the National Association of School Principals Comprehensive Assessment of School Environments, and the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children. Participants consisted of 415 urban public middle school students and 83 teachers. Findings indicate that, although perceptions did not vary for students across uniform policy, teachers from schools with uniform policies perceived lower levels of gang presence. Although the effect size was small, students from schools without uniforms reported higher self-perception scores than students from schools with uniform policies. Student and teacher perceptions of school climate did not vary across uniform policy.”

“The Effect of Uniforms on Nonuniform Apparel Expenditures” Norum, Pamela S.; Weagley, Robert O.; Norton, Marjorie J. Family & Consumer Sciences , 1998. doi: 10.1177/1077727X980263001.

Abstract: “The uniform industry has grown steadily the past 20 years with increased attention from employers trying to create a professional image among workers as well as school administrators considering uniforms to curtail school violence. Although an important part of human dress for centuries, uniforms have received little attention from researchers of the clothing market. This study examines the impact of uniform purchases on household expenditures for selected nonuniform apparel subcategories based on an economic model of conditional demand. Expenditure equations are estimated using the 1990-1991 Consumer Expenditure Survey. The results suggest that, on average, consumers do not substitute uniforms for other apparel purchases. Rather, uniforms and nonuniform apparel appear to be complements in consumers’ purchases, resulting in greater household expenditures on nonuniform apparel. These results are a first step in understanding the economic effect that uniform purchases, mandated by employers, schools, or others, have on household clothing expenditures.”

Looking for more research on student achievement? Check out our write-ups on how teacher salaries , school vouchers and school shootings impact learning.   

About The Author

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Denise-Marie Ordway

How to Write a Research Paper as a High School Student

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By Carly Taylor

Senior at Stanford University

6 minute read

Read our guide to learn why you should write a research paper and how to do so, from choosing the right topic to outlining and structuring your argument.

What is a research paper?

A research paper poses an answer to a specific question and defends that answer using academic sources, data, and critical reasoning. Writing a research paper is an excellent way to hone your focus during a research project , synthesize what you’re learning, and explain why your work matters to a broader audience of scholars in your field.

The types of sources and evidence you’ll see used in a research paper can vary widely based on its field of study. A history research paper might examine primary sources like journals and newspaper articles to draw conclusions about the culture of a specific time and place, whereas a biology research paper might analyze data from different published experiments and use textbook explanations of cellular pathways to identify a potential marker for breast cancer.

However, researchers across disciplines must identify and analyze credible sources, formulate a specific research question, generate a clear thesis statement, and organize their ideas in a cohesive manner to support their argument. Read on to learn how this process works and how to get started writing your own research paper.

Choosing your topic

Tap into your passions.

A research paper is your chance to explore what genuinely interests you and combine ideas in novel ways. So don’t choose a subject that simply sounds impressive or blindly follow what someone else wants you to do – choose something you’re really passionate about! You should be able to enjoy reading for hours and hours about your topic and feel enthusiastic about synthesizing and sharing what you learn.

We've created these helpful resources to inspire you to think about your own passion project . Polygence also offers a passion exploration experience where you can dive deep into three potential areas of study with expert mentors from those fields.

Ask a difficult question

In the traditional classroom, top students are expected to always know the answers to the questions the teacher asks. But a research paper is YOUR chance to pose a big question that no one has answered yet, and figure out how to make a contribution to answering that question. So don’t be afraid if you have no idea how to answer your question at the start of the research process — this will help you maintain a motivational sense of discovery as you dive deeper into your research. If you need inspiration, explore our database of research project ideas .

Be as specific as possible

It’s essential to be reasonable about what you can accomplish in one paper and narrow your focus down to an issue you can thoroughly address. For example, if you’re interested in the effects of invasive species on ecosystems, it’s best to focus on one invasive species and one ecosystem, such as iguanas in South Florida , or one survival mechanism, such as supercolonies in invasive ant species . If you can, get hands on with your project.

You should approach your paper with the mindset of becoming an expert in this topic. Narrowing your focus will help you achieve this goal without getting lost in the weeds and overwhelming yourself.

Would you like to write your own research paper?

Polygence mentors can help you every step of the way in writing and showcasing your research paper

Preparing to write

Conduct preliminary research.

Before you dive into writing your research paper, conduct a literature review to see what’s already known about your topic. This can help you find your niche within the existing body of research and formulate your question. For example, Polygence student Jasmita found that researchers had studied the effects of background music on student test performance, but they had not taken into account the effect of a student’s familiarity with the music being played, so she decided to pose this new question in her research paper.

Pro tip: It’s a good idea to skim articles in order to decide whether they’re relevant enough to your research interest before committing to reading them in full. This can help you spend as much time as possible with the sources you’ll actually cite in your paper.

Skimming articles will help you gain a broad-strokes view of the different pockets of existing knowledge in your field and identify the most potentially useful sources. Reading articles in full will allow you to accumulate specific evidence related to your research question and begin to formulate an answer to it.

Draft a thesis statement

Your thesis statement is your succinctly-stated answer to the question you’re posing, which you’ll make your case for in the body of the paper. For example, if you’re studying the effect of K-pop on eating disorders and body image in teenagers of different races, your thesis may be that Asian teenagers who are exposed to K-pop videos experience more negative effects on their body image than Caucasian teenagers.

Pro Tip: It’s okay to refine your thesis as you continue to learn more throughout your research and writing process! A preliminary thesis will help you come up with a structure for presenting your argument, but you should absolutely change your thesis if new information you uncover changes your perspective or adds nuance to it.

Create an outline

An outline is a tool for sketching out the structure of your paper by organizing your points broadly into subheadings and more finely into individual paragraphs. Try putting your thesis at the top of your outline, then brainstorm all the points you need to convey in order to support your thesis.

Pro Tip : Your outline is just a jumping-off point – it will evolve as you gain greater clarity on your argument through your writing and continued research. Sometimes, it takes several iterations of outlining, then writing, then re-outlining, then rewriting in order to find the best structure for your paper.

Writing your paper


Your introduction should move the reader from your broad area of interest into your specific area of focus for the paper. It generally takes the form of one to two paragraphs that build to your thesis statement and give the reader an idea of the broad argumentative structure of your paper. After reading your introduction, your reader should know what claim you’re going to present and what kinds of evidence you’ll analyze to support it.

Topic sentences

Writing crystal clear topic sentences is a crucial aspect of a successful research paper. A topic sentence is like the thesis statement of a particular paragraph – it should clearly state the point that the paragraph will make. Writing focused topic sentences will help you remain focused while writing your paragraphs and will ensure that the reader can clearly grasp the function of each paragraph in the paper’s overall structure.


Sophisticated research papers move beyond tacking on simple transitional phrases such as “Secondly” or “Moreover” to the start of each new paragraph. Instead, each paragraph flows naturally into the next one, with the connection between each idea made very clear. Try using specifically-crafted transitional phrases rather than stock phrases to move from one point to the next that will make your paper as cohesive as possible.

In her research paper on Pakistani youth in the U.S. , Polygence student Iba used the following specifically-crafted transition to move between two paragraphs: “Although the struggles of digital ethnography limited some data collection, there are also many advantages of digital data collection.” This sentence provides the logical link between the discussion of the limitations of digital ethnography from the prior paragraph and the upcoming discussion of this techniques’ advantages in this paragraph.

Your conclusion can have several functions:

To drive home your thesis and summarize your argument

To emphasize the broader significance of your findings and answer the “so what” question

To point out some questions raised by your thesis and/or opportunities for further research

Your conclusion can take on all three of these tasks or just one, depending on what you feel your paper is still lacking up to this point.

Citing sources

Last but not least, giving credit to your sources is extremely important. There are many different citation formats such as MLA, APA, and Chicago style. Make sure you know which one is standard in your field of interest by researching online or consulting an expert.

You have several options for keeping track of your bibliography:

Use a notebook to record the relevant information from each of your sources: title, author, date of publication, journal name, page numbers, etc.

Create a folder on your computer where you can store your electronic sources

Use an online bibliography creator such as Zotero, Easybib, or Noodletools to track sources and generate citations

You can read research papers by Polygence students under our Projects tab. You can also explore other opportunities for high school research .

If you’re interested in finding an expert mentor to guide you through the process of writing your own independent research paper, consider applying to be a Polygence scholar today!

Your research paper help even you to earn college credit , get published in an academic journal , contribute to your application for college , improve your college admissions chances !

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Interested in doing an exciting research project? Click below to get matched with one of our expert mentors!

Scaffolding Methods for Research Paper Writing

Scaffolding Methods for Research Paper Writing

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
  • Related Resources

Students will use scaffolding to research and organize information for writing a research paper. A research paper scaffold provides students with clear support for writing expository papers that include a question (problem), literature review, analysis, methodology for original research, results, conclusion, and references. Students examine informational text, use an inquiry-based approach, and practice genre-specific strategies for expository writing. Depending on the goals of the assignment, students may work collaboratively or as individuals. A student-written paper about color psychology provides an authentic model of a scaffold and the corresponding finished paper. The research paper scaffold is designed to be completed during seven or eight sessions over the course of four to six weeks.

Featured Resources

  • Research Paper Scaffold : This handout guides students in researching and organizing the information they need for writing their research paper.
  • Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection : Students use Internet search engines and Web analysis checklists to evaluate online resources then write annotations that explain how and why the resources will be valuable to the class.

From Theory to Practice

  • Research paper scaffolding provides a temporary linguistic tool to assist students as they organize their expository writing. Scaffolding assists students in moving to levels of language performance they might be unable to obtain without this support.
  • An instructional scaffold essentially changes the role of the teacher from that of giver of knowledge to leader in inquiry. This relationship encourages creative intelligence on the part of both teacher and student, which in turn may broaden the notion of literacy so as to include more learning styles.
  • An instructional scaffold is useful for expository writing because of its basis in problem solving, ownership, appropriateness, support, collaboration, and internalization. It allows students to start where they are comfortable, and provides a genre-based structure for organizing creative ideas.
  • In order for students to take ownership of knowledge, they must learn to rework raw information, use details and facts, and write.
  • Teaching writing should involve direct, explicit comprehension instruction, effective instructional principles embedded in content, motivation and self-directed learning, and text-based collaborative learning to improve middle school and high school literacy.

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • 2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
  • 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  • 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Materials and Technology

Computers with Internet access and printing capability

  • Research Paper Scaffold
  • Example Research Paper Scaffold
  • Example Student Research Paper
  • Internet Citation Checklist
  • Research Paper Scoring Rubric
  • Permission Form (optional)


Student objectives.

Students will

  • Formulate a clear thesis that conveys a perspective on the subject of their research
  • Practice research skills, including evaluation of sources, paraphrasing and summarizing relevant information, and citation of sources used
  • Logically group and sequence ideas in expository writing
  • Organize and display information on charts, maps, and graphs

Session 1: Research Question

You should approve students’ final research questions before Session 2. You may also wish to send home the Permission Form with students, to make parents aware of their child’s research topic and the project due dates.

Session 2: Literature Review—Search

Prior to this session, you may want to introduce or review Internet search techniques using the lesson Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection . You may also wish to consult with the school librarian regarding subscription databases designed specifically for student research, which may be available through the school or public library. Using these types of resources will help to ensure that students find relevant and appropriate information. Using Internet search engines such as Google can be overwhelming to beginning researchers.

Session 3: Literature Review—Notes

Students need to bring their articles to this session. For large classes, have students highlight relevant information (as described below) and submit the articles for assessment before beginning the session.

Checking Literature Review entries on the same day is best practice, as it gives both you and the student time to plan and address any problems before proceeding. Note that in the finished product this literature review section will be about six paragraphs, so students need to gather enough facts to fit this format.

Session 4: Analysis

Session 5: original research.

Students should design some form of original research appropriate to their topics, but they do not necessarily have to conduct the experiments or surveys they propose. Depending on the appropriateness of the original research proposals, the time involved, and the resources available, you may prefer to omit the actual research or use it as an extension activity.

Session 6: Results (optional)

Session 7: conclusion, session 8: references and writing final draft, student assessment / reflections.

  • Observe students’ participation in the initial stages of the Research Paper Scaffold and promptly address any errors or misconceptions about the research process.
  • Observe students and provide feedback as they complete each section of the Research Paper Scaffold.
  • Provide a safe environment where students will want to take risks in exploring ideas. During collaborative work, offer feedback and guidance to those who need encouragement or require assistance in learning cooperation and tolerance.
  • Involve students in using the Research Paper Scoring Rubric for final evaluation of the research paper. Go over this rubric during Session 8, before they write their final drafts.
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About 1 in 5 U.S. teens who’ve heard of ChatGPT have used it for schoolwork

(Maskot/Getty Images)

Roughly one-in-five teenagers who have heard of ChatGPT say they have used it to help them do their schoolwork, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17. With a majority of teens having heard of ChatGPT, that amounts to 13% of all U.S. teens who have used the generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot in their schoolwork.

A bar chart showing that, among teens who know of ChatGPT, 19% say they’ve used it for schoolwork.

Teens in higher grade levels are particularly likely to have used the chatbot to help them with schoolwork. About one-quarter of 11th and 12th graders who have heard of ChatGPT say they have done this. This share drops to 17% among 9th and 10th graders and 12% among 7th and 8th graders.

There is no significant difference between teen boys and girls who have used ChatGPT in this way.

The introduction of ChatGPT last year has led to much discussion about its role in schools , especially whether schools should integrate the new technology into the classroom or ban it .

Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to understand American teens’ use and understanding of ChatGPT in the school setting.

The Center conducted an online survey of 1,453 U.S. teens from Sept. 26 to Oct. 23, 2023, via Ipsos. Ipsos recruited the teens via their parents, who were part of its KnowledgePanel . The KnowledgePanel is a probability-based web panel recruited primarily through national, random sampling of residential addresses. The survey was weighted to be representative of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 who live with their parents by age, gender, race and ethnicity, household income, and other categories.

This research was reviewed and approved by an external institutional review board (IRB), Advarra, an independent committee of experts specializing in helping to protect the rights of research participants.

Here are the  questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and its  methodology .

Teens’ awareness of ChatGPT

Overall, two-thirds of U.S. teens say they have heard of ChatGPT, including 23% who have heard a lot about it. But awareness varies by race and ethnicity, as well as by household income:

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that most teens have heard of ChatGPT, but awareness varies by race and ethnicity, household income.

  • 72% of White teens say they’ve heard at least a little about ChatGPT, compared with 63% of Hispanic teens and 56% of Black teens.
  • 75% of teens living in households that make $75,000 or more annually have heard of ChatGPT. Much smaller shares in households with incomes between $30,000 and $74,999 (58%) and less than $30,000 (41%) say the same.

Teens who are more aware of ChatGPT are more likely to use it for schoolwork. Roughly a third of teens who have heard a lot about ChatGPT (36%) have used it for schoolwork, far higher than the 10% among those who have heard a little about it.

When do teens think it’s OK for students to use ChatGPT?

For teens, whether it is – or is not – acceptable for students to use ChatGPT depends on what it is being used for.

There is a fair amount of support for using the chatbot to explore a topic. Roughly seven-in-ten teens who have heard of ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use when they are researching something new, while 13% say it is not acceptable.

A diverging bar chart showing that many teens say it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT for research; few say it’s OK to use it for writing essays.

However, there is much less support for using ChatGPT to do the work itself. Just one-in-five teens who have heard of ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use it to write essays, while 57% say it is not acceptable. And 39% say it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT to solve math problems, while a similar share of teens (36%) say it’s not acceptable.

Some teens are uncertain about whether it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT for these tasks. Between 18% and 24% say they aren’t sure whether these are acceptable use cases for ChatGPT.

Those who have heard a lot about ChatGPT are more likely than those who have only heard a little about it to say it’s acceptable to use the chatbot to research topics, solve math problems and write essays. For instance, 54% of teens who have heard a lot about ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use it to solve math problems, compared with 32% among those who have heard a little about it.

Note: Here are the  questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and its  methodology .

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Olivia Sidoti is a research assistant focusing on internet and technology research at Pew Research Center

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Jeffrey Gottfried is an associate director focusing on internet and technology research at Pew Research Center

Many Americans think generative AI programs should credit the sources they rely on

Americans’ use of chatgpt is ticking up, but few trust its election information, q&a: how we used large language models to identify guests on popular podcasts, striking findings from 2023, what the data says about americans’ views of artificial intelligence, most popular.

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An Examination of US School Mass Shootings, 2017–2022: Findings and Implications

Antonis katsiyannis.

1 Department of Education and Human Development, College of Education, Clemson University, 101 Gantt Circle, Room 407 C, Clemson, SC 29634 USA

Luke J. Rapa

2 Department of Education and Human Development, College of Education, Clemson University, 101 Gantt Circle, Room 409 F, Clemson, SC 29634 USA

Denise K. Whitford

3 Steven C. Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education, Purdue University, 100 N. University Street, BRNG 5154, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098 USA

Samantha N. Scott

4 Department of Education and Human Development, College of Education, Clemson University, 101 Gantt Circle, Room G01A, Clemson, SC 29634 USA

Gun violence in the USA is a pressing social and public health issue. As rates of gun violence continue to rise, deaths resulting from such violence rise as well. School shootings, in particular, are at their highest recorded levels. In this study, we examined rates of intentional firearm deaths, mass shootings, and school mass shootings in the USA using data from the past 5 years, 2017–2022, to assess trends and reappraise prior examination of this issue.

Extant data regarding shooting deaths from 2017 through 2020 were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the web-based injury statistics query and reporting system (WISQARS), and, for school shootings in particular (2017–2022), from Everytown Research & Policy.

The number of intentional firearm deaths and the crude death rates increased from 2017 to 2020 in all age categories; crude death rates rose from 4.47 in 2017 to 5.88 in 2020. School shootings made a sharp decline in 2020—understandably so, given the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government or locally mandated school shutdowns—but rose again sharply in 2021.


Recent data suggest continued upward trends in school shootings, school mass shootings, and related deaths over the past 5 years. Notably, gun violence disproportionately affects boys, especially Black boys, with much higher gun deaths per capita for this group than for any other group of youth. Implications for policy and practice are provided.

On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old man killed 19 students and two teachers and wounded 17 individuals at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, using an AR-15-style rifle. Outside the school, he fired shots for about 5 min before entering the school through an unlocked side door and locked himself inside two adjoining classrooms killing 19 students and two teachers. He was in the school for over an hour (78 min) before being shot dead by the US Border Patrol Tactical Unit, though police officers were on the school premises (Sandoval, 2022 ).

The Robb Elementary School mass shooting, the second deadliest school mass shooting in American history, is the latest calamity in a long list of tragedies occurring on public school campuses in the USA. Regrettably, these tragedies are both a reflection and an outgrowth of the broader reality of gun violence in this country. In 2021, gun violence claimed 45,027 lives (including 20,937 suicides), with 313 children aged 0–11 killed and 750 injured, along with 1247 youth aged 12–17 killed and 3385 injured (Gun Violence Archive, 2022a ). Mass shootings in the USA have steadily increased in recent years, rising from 269 in 2013 to 611 in 2020. Mass shootings are typically defined as incidents in which four or more people are killed (Katsiyannis et al., 2018a ). However, the Gun Violence Archive considers mass shootings to be incidents in which four or more people are injured (Gun Violence Archive, 2022b ). Regardless of these distinctions in definition, in 2020, there were 19,384 gun murders, representing a 34% increase from the year before, a 49% increase over a 5-year period, and a 75% increase over a 10-year period (Pew Research Center, 2022 ). Regarding school-based shootings, to date in 2022, there have been at least 95 incidents of gunfire on school premises, resulting in 40 deaths and 76 injuries (Everytown Research & Policy, 2022b ). Over the past few decades, school shootings in the USA have become relatively commonplace: there were more in 2021 than in any year since 1999, with the median age of perpetrators being 16 (Washington Post, 2022 ; see also, Katsiyannis et al., 2018a ). Additionally, analysis of Everytown’s Gunfire on School Grounds dataset and related studies point to several key observations to be considered in addressing this challenge. For example, 58% of perpetrators had a connection to the school, 70% were White males, 73 to 80% obtained guns from home or relatives or friends, and 100% exhibited warning signs or showed behavior that was of cause for concern; also, in 77% of school shootings, at least one person knew about the shooter’s plan before the shooting events occurred (Everytown Research & Policy, 2021a ).

The USA has had 57 times as many school shootings as all other major industrialized nations combined (Rowhani-Rahbar & Moe, 2019 ). Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the USA, with children ages 5–14 being 21 times and adolescents and young adults ages 15–24 being 23 times more likely to be killed with guns compared to other high-income countries. Furthermore, Black children and teens are 14 times and Latinx children and teens are three times more likely than White children to die by guns (Everytown Research & Policy, 2021b ). Children exposed to violence, crime, and abuse face a host of adverse challenges, including abuse of drugs and alcohol, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, school failure, and involvement in criminal activity (Cabral et al., 2021 ; Everytown Research and Policy, 2022b ; Finkelhor et al., 2013 ).

Yet, despite gun violence being considered a pressing social and public health issue, federal legislation passed in 1996 has resulted in restricting funding for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The law stated that no funding earmarked for injury prevention and control may be used to advocate or promote firearm control (Kellermann & Rivara, 2013 ). More recently, in June 2022, the US Supreme Court struck down legislation restricting gun possession and open carry rights (New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen, 2021 ), broadening gun rights and increasing the risk of gun violence in public spaces. Nonetheless, according to Everytown Research & Policy ( 2022a ), states with strong gun laws experience fewer deaths per capita. In the aggregate, states with weaker gun laws (i.e., laws that are more permissive) experience 20.0 gun deaths per 100,000 residents versus 7.4 per 100,000 in states with stronger laws. The association between gun law strength and per capita death is stark (see Table ​ Table1 1 ).

Gun law strength and gun law deaths per 100,000 residents

Accounting for the top eight and the bottom eight states in gun law strength, gun law strength and gun deaths per 100,000 are correlated at r  =  − 0.85. Stronger gun laws are thus meaningfully linked with fewer deaths per capita. Data obtained from Everytown Research & Policy ( 2022a )

Notwithstanding the publicity involving gun shootings in schools, particularly mass shootings, violence in schools has been steadily declining. For example, in 2020, students aged 12–18 experienced 285,400 victimizations at school and 380,900 victimizations away from school; an annual decrease of 60% for school victimizations (from 2019 to 2020) (Irwin et al., 2022 ). Similarly, youth arrests in general in 2019 were at their lowest level since at least 1980; between 2010 and 2019, the number of juvenile arrests fell by 58%. Yet, arrests for murder increased by 10% (Puzzanchera, 2021 ).

In response to school violence in general, and school shootings in particular, schools have increasingly relied on increased security measures, school resource officers (SROs), and zero tolerance policies (including exclusionary and aversive measures) in their attempts to curb violence and enhance school safety. In 2019–2020, public schools reported controlled access (97%), the use of security cameras (91%), and badges or picture IDs (77%) to promote safety. In addition, high schools (84%), middle schools (81%), and elementary schools (55%) reported the presence of SROs (Irwin et al., 2022 ). Research, however, has indicated that the presence of SROs has not resulted in a reduction of school shooting severity, despite their increased prevalence. Rather, the type of firearm utilized in school shootings has been closely associated with the number of deaths and injuries (Lemieux, 2014 ; Livingston et al., 2019 ), suggesting implications for reconsideration of the kinds of firearms to which individuals have access.

Zero tolerance policies, though originally intended to curtail gun violence in schools, have expanded to cover a host of incidents (e.g., threats, bullying). Notwithstanding these intentions, these policies are generally ineffective in preventing school violence, including school shootings (American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008 ; Losinski et al., 2014 ), and have exacerbated the prevalence of youths’ interactions with law enforcement in schools. From the 2015–2016 to the 2017–2018 school years, there was a 5% increase in school-related arrests and a 12% increase in referrals to law enforcement (U.S. Department of Education, 2021 ); in 2017–18, about 230,000 students were referred to law enforcement and over 50,000 were arrested (The Center for Public Integrity, 2021 ). Law enforcement referrals have been a persistent concern aiding the school-to-prison pipeline, often involving non-criminal offenses and disproportionally affecting students from non-White backgrounds as well as students with disabilities (Chan et al., 2021 ; The Center for Public Integrity, 2021 ).

The consequences of these policies are thus far-reaching, with not only legal ramifications, but social-emotional and academic ones as well. For example, in 2017–2018, students missed 11,205,797 school days due to out-of-school suspensions during that school year (U.S. Department of Education, 2021 ), there were 96,492 corporal punishment incidents, and 101,990 students were physically restrained, mechanically restrained, or secluded (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, 2020 ). Such exclusionary and punitive measures have long-lasting consequences for the involved students, including academic underachievement, dropout, delinquency, and post-traumatic stress (e.g., Cholewa et al., 2018 ). Moreover, these consequences disproportionally affect culturally and linguistically diverse students and students with disabilities (Skiba et al., 2014 ; U.S. General Accountability Office, 2018 ), often resulting in great societal costs (Rumberger & Losen, 2017 ).

In the USA, mass killings involving guns occur approximately every 2 weeks, while school shootings occur every 4 weeks (Towers et al., 2015 ). Given the apparent and continued rise in gun violence, mass shootings, and school mass shootings, we aimed in this paper to reexamine rates of intentional firearm deaths, mass shootings, and school mass shootings in the USA using data from the past 5 years, 2017–2022, reappraising our analyses given the time that had passed since our earlier examination of the issue (Katsiyannis et al., 2018a , b ).

As noted in Katsiyannis et al., ( 2018a , b ), gun violence, mass shootings, and school shootings have been a part of the American way of life for generations. Such shootings have grown exponentially in both frequency and mortality rate since the 1980s. Using the same criteria applied in our previous work (Katsiyannis et al., 2018a , b ), we evaluated the frequency of shootings, mass shootings, and school mass school shootings from January 2017 through mid-July 2022. Extant data regarding shooting deaths from 2017 through 2020 were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, utilizing the web-based injury statistics query and reporting system (WISQARS), and for school shootings from 2017 to 2022 from Everytown Research & Policy ( ), an independent non-profit organization that researches and communicates with policymakers and the public about gun violence in the USA. Intentional firearm death data were classified by age, as outlined in Katsiyannis et al., ( 2018a , b ), and the crude rate was calculated by dividing the number of deaths times 100,000, by the total population for each individual category.

The number of intentional firearm deaths and the crude death rates increased from 2017 to 2020 in all age categories. In absolute terms, the number of deaths rose from 14,496 in 2017 to 19,308 in 2020. In accord with this rise in the absolute number of deaths, crude death rates rose from 4.47 in 2017 to 5.88 in 2020. Table ​ Table2 2 provides the crude death rate in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, the most current years with data available. Figure  1 provides the raw number of deaths across the same time period.

Intentional firearm deaths across the USA (2017–2020)

Data obtained from WISQARS (2022)

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Intentional firearm deaths across the USA (2017–2020). Note. Data obtained from WISQARS (2022)

As expected, in 2020, the number of fatal firearm injuries increased sharply from age 0–11 years, roughly elementary school age, to age 12–18 years, roughly middle school and high school age. Table ​ Table3 3 provides the crude death rates of children in 2020 who die from firearms. Males outnumbered females in every category of firearm deaths, including homicide, police violence, suicide, and accidental shootings, as well as for undetermined reasons for firearm discharge. Black males drastically surpassed all other children in the number of firearm deaths (2.91 per 100,000 0–11-year-olds; 57.10 per 100,000 12–18-year-olds). Also, notable is the high number of Black children 12–18 years killed by guns (32.37 per 100,000), followed by American Indian and Alaska Native children (18.87 per 100,000), in comparison to White children (12.40 per 100,000 children), Hispanic/Latinx children (8.16 per 100,000), and Asian and Pacific Islander children (2.95 per 100,000). A disproportionate number of gun deaths were also seen for Black girls relative to other girls (1.52 per 100,000 0–11-year-olds; 7.01 per 100,000 12–18-year-olds).

Fatal firearm injuries for children age 0–18 across the USA in 2020

  AN Alaska Native; – indicates 20 or fewer cases

Mass shootings and mass shooting deaths increased from 2017 to 2019, decreased in 2020, and then increased again in 2021. School shootings made a sharp decline in 2020—understandably so, given the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government or locally mandated school shutdowns—but rose again sharply in 2021. Current rates reveal a continued increase, with numbers at the beginning of 2022 already exceeding those of 2017. School mass shooting counts were relatively low between 2017 through 2022, with four total during that time frame. Figure  2 provides raw numbers for mass shootings, school shootings, and school mass shootings from 2017 through 2022. Importantly, figures from the recent Uvalde, TX, school mass shooting at Robb Elementary School had not yet been recorded in the relevant databases at the time of this writing. With those deaths accounted for, 2022 is already the deadliest year for school mass shootings in the past 5 years.

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Mass shootings, school shootings, and mass school shootings across the USA (2017–2022). Note. Data obtained from Everytown Research and Policy. Overlap present between all three categories

Gun violence in the USA, particularly mass shootings on the grounds of public schools, continues to be a pressing social and public health issue. Recent data suggest continued upward trends in school shootings, school mass shootings, and related deaths over the past 5 years—patterns that disturbingly mirror general gun violence and intentional shooting deaths in the USA across the same time period. The impacts on our nation’s youth are profound. Notably, gun violence disproportionately affects boys, especially Black boys, with much higher gun deaths per capita for this group than for any other group of youth. Likewise, Black girls are disproportionately affected compared to girls from other ethnic/racial groups. Moreover, while the COVID-19 pandemic and school shutdowns tempered gun violence in schools at least somewhat during the 2020 school year—including school shootings and school mass shootings—trend data show that gun violence rates are still continuing to rise. Indeed, gun violence deaths resulting from school shootings are at their highest recorded levels ever (Irwin et al., 2022 ).

Implications for Schools: Curbing School Violence

In recent years, the implementation of Multi-Tier Systems and Supports (MTSS), including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI), has resulted in improved school climate and student engagement as well as improved academic and behavioral outcomes (Elrod et al., 2022 ; Santiago-Rosario et al., 2022 ; National Center for Learning Disabilities, n.d.). Such approaches have implications for reducing school violence as well. PBIS uses a tiered framework intended to improve student behavioral and academic outcomes; it creates positive learning environments through the implementation of evidence-based instructional and behavioral interventions, guided by data-based decision-making and allocation of students across three tiers. In Tier 1, schools provide universal supports to all students in a proactive manner; in Tier 2, supports are aimed to students who need additional academic, behavioral, or social-emotional intervention; and in Tier 3, supports are provided in an intensive and individualized manner (Lewis et al., 2010 ). The implementation of PBIS has resulted in an improved school climate, fewer office referrals, and reductions in out-of-school suspensions (Bradshaw et al., 2010 ; Elrod et al.,  2010 , 2022 ; Gage et al., 2018a , 2018b ; Horner et al., 2010 ; Noltemeyer et al., 2019 ). Likewise, RTI aims to improve instructional outcomes through high-quality instruction and universal screening for students to identify learning challenges and similarly allocates students across three tiers. In Tier 1, schools implement high-quality classroom instruction, screening, and group interventions; in Tier 2, schools implement targeted interventions; and in Tier 3, schools implement intensive interventions and comprehensive evaluation (National Center for Learning Disabilities, n.d ). RTI implementation has resulted in improved academic outcomes (e.g., reading, writing) (Arrimada et al., 2022 ; Balu et al., 2015 ; Siegel, 2020 ) and enhanced school climate and student behavior.

In order to support students’ well-being, enhance school climate, and support reductions in behavioral issues and school violence, schools should consider the implementation of MTSS, reducing reliance on exclusionary and aversive measures such as zero tolerance policies, seclusion and restraints, corporal punishment, or school-based law enforcement referrals and arrests (see Gage et al., in press ). Such approaches and policies are less effective than the use of MTSS, exacerbate inequities and enhance disproportionality (particularly for youth of color and students with disabilities), and have not been shown to reduce violence in schools.

Implications for Students: Ensuring Physical Safety and Supporting Mental Health

Students should not have to attend school and fear becoming victims of violence in general, no less gun violence in particular. Schools must ensure the physical safety of their students. Yet, as the substantial number of school shootings continues to rise in the USA, so too does concern about the adverse impacts of violence and gun violence on students’ mental health and well-being. Students are frequently exposed to unavoidable and frightening images and stories of school violence (Child Development Institute, n.d. ) and are subject to active shooter drills that may not actually be effective and, in some cases, may actually induce trauma (Jetelina, 2022 ; National Association of School Psychologists & National Association of School Resources Officers, 2021 ; Wang et al., 2020 ). In turn, students struggle to process and understand why these events happen and, more importantly, how they can be prevented (National Association of School Psychologists, 2015 ). School personnel should be prepared to support the mental health needs of students, both in light of the prevalence of school gun violence and in the aftermath of school mass shootings.

Research provides evidence that traumatic events, such as school mass shootings, can and do have mental health consequences for victims and members of affected communities, leading to an increase in post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, and other psychological systems (Lowe & Galea, 2017 ). At the same time, high media attention to such events indirectly exposes and heightens feelings of fear, anxiety, and vulnerability in students—even if they did not attend the school where the shooting occurred (Schonfeld & Demaria, 2020 ). Students of all ages may experience adjustment difficulties and engage in avoidance behaviors (Schonfeld & Demaria, 2020 ). As a result, school personnel may underestimate a student’s distress after a shooting and overestimate their resilience. In addition, an adult’s difficulty adjusting in the wake of trauma may also threaten a student’s sense of well-being because they may believe their teachers cannot provide them with the protection they need to remain safe in school (Schonfeld & Demaria, 2020 ).

These traumatic events have resounding consequences for youth development and well-being. However, schools continue to struggle to meet the demands of student mental health needs as they lack adequate funding for resources, student support services, and staff to provide the level of support needed for many students (Katsiyannis et al., 2018a ). Despite these limiting factors, children and youth continue to look to adults for information and guidance on how to react to adverse events. An effective response can significantly decrease the likelihood of further trauma; therefore, all school personnel must be prepared to talk with students about their fears, to help them feel safe and establish a sense of normalcy and security in the wake of tragedy (National Association of School Psychologists, 2016 ). Research suggests a number of strategies can be utilized by educators, school leaders, counselors, and other mental health professionals to support the students and staff they serve.

Recommendations for Educators

The National Association of School Psychologists ( 2016 ) recommends the following practices for educators to follow in response to school mass shootings. Although a complex topic to address, the issue needs to be acknowledged. In particular, educators should designate time to talk with their students about the event, and should reassure students that they are safe while validating their fears, feelings, and concerns. Recognizing and stressing to students that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs is essential. It is important to note that some students do not wish to express their emotions verbally. Other developmentally appropriate outlets, such as drawing, writing, reading books, and imaginative play, can be utilized. Educators should also provide developmentally appropriate explanations of the issue and events throughout their conversations. At the elementary level, students need brief, simple answers that are balanced with reassurances that schools are safe and that adults are there to protect them. In the secondary grades, students may be more vocal in asking questions about whether they are truly safe and what protocols are in place to protect them at school. To address these questions, educators can provide information related to the efforts of school and community leaders to ensure school safety. Educators should also review safety procedures and help students to identify at least one adult in the building to whom they can go if they feel threatened or at risk. Limiting exposure to media and social media is also important, as developmentally inappropriate information can cause anxiety or confusion. Educators should also maintain a normal routine by keeping a regular school schedule.

Recommendations for School Leaders

Superintendents, principals, and other school administrative personnel are looked upon to provide leadership and comfort to staff, students, and parents during a tragedy. Reassurance can be provided by reiterating safety measures and student supports that are in place in their district and school (The National Association of School Psychologists, 2015 ). The NASP recommends the following practices for school leaders regarding addressing student mental health needs directly. First, school leaders should be a visible, welcoming presence by greeting students and visiting classrooms. School leaders should also communicate with the school community, including parents and students, about their efforts to maintain safe and caring schools through clear behavioral expectations, positive behavior interventions and supports, and crisis planning preparedness. This can include the development of press releases for broad dissemination within the school community. School leaders should also provide crisis training and professional development for staff, based upon assessments of needs and targeted toward identified knowledge or skill gaps. They should also ensure the implementation of violence prevention programs and curricula in school and review school safety policies and procedures to ensure that all safety issues are adequately covered in current school crisis plans and emergency response procedures.

Recommendations for Counselors and Mental Health Professionals

School counselors offer critical assistance to their buildings’ populations as they experience crises or respond to emergencies (American School Counselor Association, 2019 ; Brown, 2020 ). Two models that stand out in the literature utilized by counselors in the wake of violent events are the Preparation, Action, Recovery (PAR) model and the Prevent and prepare; Reaffirm; Evaluate; provide interventions and Respond (PREPaRE) model. PREPaRE is the only comprehensive, nationally available training curriculum created by educators for educators (The National Association of School Psychologists, n.d. ). Although beneficial, neither the PAR nor PREPaRE model directly addresses school counselors’ responses to school shootings when their school is directly affected (Brown, 2020 ). This led to the development of the School Counselor’s Response to School Shootings-Framework of Recommendations (SCRSS-FR) model, which includes six stages, each of which has corresponding components for school counselors who have lived through a school mass shooting. Each of these models provides the necessary training to school-employed mental health professionals on how to best fill the roles and responsibilities generated by their membership on school crisis response teams (The National Association of School Psychologists, n.d. ).

Other Implications: Federal and State Policy

Recent events at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, prompted the US Congress to pass landmark legislation intended to curb gun violence, enhancing background checks for prospective gun buyers who are under 21 years of age as well as allowing examination of juvenile records beginning at age 16, including health records related to prospective gun buyers’ mental health. Additionally, this legislation provides funding that will allow states to implement “red flag laws” and other intervention programs while also strengthening laws related to the purchase and trafficking of guns (Cochrane, 2022 ). Yet, additional legislation reducing or eliminating access to assault rifles and other guns with large capacity magazines, weapons that might easily be deemed “weapons of mass destruction,” is still needed (Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School & Community Violence, 2022 ; see also Flannery et al., 2021 ). In 2019, the US Congress started to appropriate research funding to support research on gun violence, with $25 million in equal shares provided on an annual basis from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health (Roubein, 2022 ; Wan, 2019 ). Additional research is, of course, still needed.

Despite legislative progress, and while advancements in gun legislation are meaningful and have the potential to aid in the reduction of gun violence in the USA, school shootings and school mass shootings are something schools and students will contend with in the months and years ahead. This reality has serious implications for schools and for students, points that need serious consideration. Therefore, it is imperative that gun violence is framed as a pressing national public health issue deserving attention, with drastic steps needed to curb access to assault rifles and guns with high-capacity magazines, based on extensive and targeted research. As noted, Congress, after many years of inaction, has started to appropriate funds to address this issue. However, the level of funding is still minimal in light of the pressing challenge that gun violence presents. Furthermore, the messaging of conservative media, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and republican legislators framing access to all and any weapons—including assault rifles—as a constitutional right under the second amendment bears scrutiny. Indeed, the second amendment denotes that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Security of the nation is arguably the intent of the amendment, an intent that is clearly violated as evidenced in the ever-increasing death toll associated with gun violence in the USA.

Whereas federal legislation would be preferable, the possibility of banning assault weapons is remote (in light of recent Congressional action). Similarly, state action has been severely curtailed in light of the US Supreme Court’s decision regarding New York state law. However, data on gun fatalities and injuries, the correspondence of gun violence to laws regulating access across the world and states, and failed security measures such as armed guards posted in schools (e.g., Robb Elementary School) must be consistently emphasized. Additionally, the widespread sense of immunity for gun manufacturers should be tested in the same manner that tobacco manufacturers and opioid pharmaceuticals have been. The success against such tobacco and opioid manufacturers, once unthinkable, is a powerful precedent to consider for how the threat of gun violence against public health might be addressed.

Author Contribution

AK conceived of and designed the study and led the writing of the manuscript. LJR collaborated on the study design, contributed to the writing of the study, and contributed to the editing of the final manuscript. DKW analyzed the data and wrote up the results. SNS contributed to the writing of the study.


The authors declare no competing interests.

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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New book by UW–Madison’s Rosenberg explores contemporary art and culture

Cover of "Staring at the Sky"

Rosenberg wrote this collection of short essays about art and contemporary culture over a five-year period from 2015-2020, during which he served as Art Department chair. Composed as an ongoing commitment to remaining mindful of the field and the cultural upheaval of the period, they are a durational project that reflect Rosenberg’s reflections in real time, based on ideas developed over 30 years of interdisciplinary practice in the arts — as a filmmaker, writer, artist, and teacher.

“Staring at the Sky” is available for purchase via Biblio. Learn more here .

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Emory Law News Center

Witte honored with festschrift on law and religion.

Professor John Witte

Brill Publishers has released a book of essays in honor of John Witte , Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, McDonald Distinguished Professor of Religion, and faculty director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.  The collection is edited by Rafael Domingo, Gary S. Hauk, and Timothy P. Jackson, former colleagues and enduring friends of Witte. The book is free and open access.  

The title includes 31 chapters by friends and former students in North America and Europe and opens with a foreword by Emory President Emeritus James T. Laney, who hired Witte in 1987 to lead the work in law and religion at Emory. Laney wrote:   

Of all the things I am proud of as president emeritus of Emory, none stands higher than the Center for the Study of Law and Religion. In many respects, all of the center’s achievements reflect the vision and drive of John Witte—not just his executive leadership as director of the center, but his own seminal studies. His laser-like mind, sweeping historical and legal perspective, galvanizing vision, and soaring standards for scholarship, teaching, and collegiality are matched only by his extraordinary appetite for work. He is a prolific writer, from whose keyboard has poured forth a steady torrent of monographs, edited volumes, journal articles, reviews, book chapters, lectures, and op-eds.  

  Since joining the Emory Law community in 1987, WItte has published 45 books in 15 languages plus 325 articles and 18 journal symposia; he has also delivered 425 public lectures around the world. As center director, he has raised $26 million and directed 19 major international research projects on issues of faith, freedom, and the family.  

Witte , in response to this book’s release, said, “I find it hard to believe that I have already reached the age to receive a lovely tribute volume like this. I am taking it as a strong pat on the back from on high, and encouragement to keep running the race for a time, while body, mind, and soul remain intact. May it long continue.” He added that the collection provides “a wonderful kaleidoscopic tour of the fundamentals and frontiers of law and religion study.”  

Michael J. Broyde , professor of law and senior fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, said of his longtime colleague: “I have been working with Professor Witte for more than 30 years and there are few honors that he does not deserve.  Besides his excellent scholarship, he is a leading thinker and a wonderful administrator, as well as a widely honored teacher.  This is not the last honor he is to receive, and each is deserved more than the last one.”  

The editors  

Rafael Domingo is Alvaro d’Ors Professor of Law at the Uni versity of Navarra, a senior fellow for the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory and has published 30 books and 150 articles.  

Gary Hauk 91PhD has served as secretary of the university, vice president, and chief of staff to four Emory presidents, and as university historian. He retired in 2020.   

Timothy P. Jackson is Bishop Mack B. and Rose Stokes Professor Emeritus of Theological Ethics and senior fellow at Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, a senior fellow at the Center for Ethics.  

These scholars wrote of Witte in the book’s acknowledgements:  

For several decades, the work of John Witte Jr. as scholar, teacher, public lecturer, and project leader, has been among the most influential in the English-speaking world in the field of law and religion in general, and in the study of law and Christianity in particular.  

We editors are grateful for the erudition and cooperation of the thirty-three contributors to this volume—a few of them Witte’s former students, and almost all of them collaborators in scholarly projects and publications that Witte has led since the mid-1980s.  

For many years, he has seasoned his steadfast encouragement of our own scholarship with incisive suggestions, gentle grace, modesty, and humor. The field of law and religion in general would be poorer without John’s contributions, and so would our own scholarly life. It is therefore a deep joy to have collaborated in publishing this tribute to John and his enduring legacy.  

Download Faith in Law, Law in Faith – Reflecting and Building on the Work of John   Witte, Jr.   | Brill  .  

School of Music

Dr. William Menefield

Opera channels creativity of jazz studies professor William Menefield


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