CNN claimed on-air Monday that there have been 288 school shootings in the United States since 2009, but the network has not yet provided a list or methodology for that number.
During a report on the latest school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, CNN displayed a graphic claiming the 288 figure but they did not explain how they arrived at that number and actually didn’t mention it at all.
CNN producer AnneClair Stapleton also tweeted out the number but did not provide a link to anything on the CNN website breaking down their methodology.
There have been AT LEAST 288 school shootings in the United States since January 1, 2009, according to @cnn data review. Internationally, there have been at least 27 school shootings in select countries listed below. @cnnbrk pic.twitter.com/bmUGN4mz5z
— AnneClaire Stapleton (@AnneClaireCNN) May 21, 2018
CNN also spread a dubious school shooting statistic on Friday by claiming that there have been 22 shootings in 2018 alone. Their count included one incident where a student shot another student with a BB gun, causing minor injuries, and several other incidents that didn’t even involve students. (RELATED: CNN Re-Ups False 22 School Shootings Stat)
CNN’s methodology also includes gang fights and domestic violence as long as they occur on school grounds, effectively lumping together minor accidents and non-school related shootings with more serious events like the one in Texas on Friday. Those who do not read into CNN’s numbers may not realize that the count includes things other than the mass shooting events that they typically think of when they hear “school shooting.”
Provided CNN used the same methodology for their 288 count, it is unlikely that the statistic provides a realistic or accurate view of the number of school shootings.