A Timeline of School Murders and Massacres

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A Brief History

We have covered numerous tragedies that have occurred at schools around the world.  This article presents a chronological timeline of the most infamous such incidents in our world’s history.

Digging Deeper

On May 18, 1927, Andrew Kehoe committed the worst mass murder in an American school ever, proving that this is not just something started recently. 

On June 11, 1964, World War II veteran Walter Seifert went on a rampage at a Catholic elementary school outside of Cologne, Germany.  He did not have a gun, but he did have a home-made flamethrower, a mace and a lance!

On May 4, 1970, the M-1 Garand rifles of the Ohio National Guard were used in combat; against college kids!

On December 6, 1989, an apparently mentally disturbed Marc Lepine went to the Universite de Montreal and entered the Ecole Polytechnique building armed with a Ruger Mini-14 carbine, a knife, and murder in his heart fueled by a hatred for “feminists.”

On March 13, 1996, another of the tragic, sad stories about a fatal shooting that took place at a school unfolded when ex-Boy Scout leader, Scotsman Thomas Hamilton, opened fire and killed 16 elementary school students and a teacher before shooting and killing himself.

On June 6, 1997, Melissa Drexler gave birth to her baby in a bathroom stall, threw it in the trash, and went right back to the prom! 

On April 20, 1999, two Colorado high school students alleged to have been the victims of bullies went on a murderous rampage at their own school, killing 13 and wounding 24!

On October 2, 2006, a mentally disturbed 32 year old man went to an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (often described as the “Capital” of Amish Country) and proceeded to shoot 11 people, of which 6 died, including himself.

On April 16, 2007, a mentally ill college student conducted a planned slaughter of classmates and faculty members before finally taking his own life.

On April 26, 2002, Erfurt, Germany, was the scene of a horrific mass murder when a 19 year old student that had been expelled from a high school shot and killed 16 people.

On September 23, 2008, a Finnish murderer proved that mass shootings do occur in other “civilized” countries outside the United States, and you do NOT need a military looking or high powered weapon to commit such a heinous act.

On December 14, 2012, Chinese citizen Min Yongjun stabbed an elderly (85 years old) lady in her own home with her own knife, and then took the knife to the next door primary school and began stabbing children aged 6 to 11.

On February 15, 2018, the nation mourns as the United States is rocked by another mass shooting at a school, this time a public high school in Florida. 

Question for students (and subscribers): What recommendations do you have for preventing such tragedies from occurring in the future?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Welles, Jonathan.  School Massacres.  Ox Books Publishing, 2013.

The featured image in this timeline, a sign on Andrew Kehoe’s fence circa May 1927, is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.


About Author

Dr. Zar graduated with a B.A. in French and history, a Master’s in History, and a Ph.D. in History. He currently teaches history in Ohio.