In the first installment of a series, “Surviving to Graduation,” the Washington Post goes into a high school in Richmond, where officials and staff have established an “intricate response” to gun violence, "to handle an increasingly unmanageable load of pain, violence and trauma.” Over the past three years, nearly 30 Richmond students have died in gunfire. The city’s rate of young people killed by guns spiked to three times the national average in 2017. In 2022 alone, there were 22 children under 18 injured by gunfire and five shot to death.
Richmond’s trends reflect what’s happening nationally, the story notes. Since 2020, guns have become the leading cause of death among children and teens, with Black youths dying in firearm homicides at the highest rates. The pandemic made things worse, fueling a spike in violence: There were more school shootings in 2022 than in any year since 1999, according to a Washington Post database. "Taken together, guns are reshaping every aspect of American education.”