School Climate & Safety Report Roundup

Survey: Most Teachers Not Likely to Carry Guns

“Guns and Safety in Our Schools”
By Nirvi Shah — March 05, 2013 1 min read
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While some state lawmakers and school districts have their sights set on arming school employees, a survey of nearly 11,000 educators finds that a big majority of them would be unlikely to carry a weapon in class.

The survey results, released last week by the for-profit professional-development company School Improvement Network, show that about 72 percent of teachers and administrators said they would be unlikely to bring a firearm to school even if they were allowed to do so. And of those who already own firearms, fewer than 40 percent would bring them to class if given the choice. About 36 percent of those surveyed said they own a gun.

The Midvale, Utah, company conducted the online survey in late January, about six weeks after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The survey included teachers and administrators from all 50 states and from districts of all types.

While about 92 percent of respondents generally feel safe at school, the survey also found some—about 14 percent of those who feel safe overall—worry about gun violence on campus.

Teachers and administrators said their schools have already taken steps to improve security since the Sandy Hook shootings. About 33 percent said their schools have added new door-locking systems, leave fewer doors open, or have taken other steps involving access. Another third said their schools have added security cameras or new lockdown procedures. About 20 percent said their schools have done more safety drills specifically on how they would deal with an armed intruder—something that had become more common even before Sandy Hook. And 10 percent said their schools have added or increased police presence on campus.

Although educators aren’t very interested in carrying guns themselves, 88 percent of those surveyed said an armed police officer on campus would improve safety.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 06, 2013 edition of Education Week as Survey: Most Teachers Not Likely to Carry Guns

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