As pandemic takes toll on mental health, gun violence at schools on the rise

National

(CBS Newspath) – The coronavirus is not the only epidemic that people are concerned about this school year. After a decrease in classroom violence, thanks primarily to learning from home during the pandemic, school shootings are again on the rise.

2021 has seen the most gunfire on school grounds in the nation’s history. 139 incidents resulting in 28 deaths and 80 injuries, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.


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Psychiatrist Dr. Charles Herrick blames isolation from the pandemic. He says deterioration of mental health during the pandemic could be at play. “They’re in greater distress. And I think, you know, part of the issue has to do with, try to help them to normalize it.”

Dr. Herrick also says stress brought on by social media has created a mental health crisis among our country’s young people.

David Hogg, a survivor of the nation’s deadliest school shooting in Parkland, Florida, wants lawmakers to step in. “I think, in some senses, what the pandemic is, unfortunately, showing us is major gaps within our social safety net in this country,” he says.

Hogg is pushing for universal background checks and regulations to stop someone with a history of mental illness from acquiring a gun.

Moments before Spanish class at her California high school in 2019, Mia Tretta was shot by a fellow student. “There was a bang, another bang came and I found myself on the ground,” she says.

The bullet plunged deep into the teenager’s abdomen. It’s an injury doctors say could affect her ability to have children.

Tretta is now filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the ghost gun used in the shooting that injured her and two others and led to two student deaths. She’s also hoping more people become aware of how the pandemic could impact a person’s emotional health.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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