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Poll Finds Most Teachers, Students Say They’re Protected From School Shooters

by The Daily Signal | Updated on 4.4.18

Kyle Perisic / March 27, 2018


A majority of teachers say they believe they are protected from shooters entering their school, according to a recent poll.

The Gallup poll found that 60 percent of teachers agreed their school is somewhat protected or very protected.

Gallup, however, chose to look at the down side with a headline reading: “Four in 10 Teachers Say Their School Is Not Well Protected.”

The poll also found that a majority of teachers, 64 percent, and a majority of students, 55 percent, said they are not worried about a shooting happening at their school. A total of 36 percent said they are worried, and 9 percent said they are “very worried.”

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Fully 60 percent of teachers said they were prepared to protect students and staff from a shooter, while 40 percent said they were “not too prepared” or “not prepared at all.”

Schools remain among the safest places to be, but there is always more elected officials can do to make them safer, Heritage Foundation legal expert John Malcolm told The Daily Signal.

“There is nothing more horrifying than the thought that you might kiss your child goodbye, send him off to school, and then never see him again,” said Malcolm, a Heritage vice president who oversees the Institute for Constitutional Government and directs the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

“Fortunately, the reality is that our kids are safer in school than they are in many other areas,” Malcolm said. “That is not to say, though, that school officials and elected representatives should not do more to ensure that our schools are safer from the malevolent acts of disturbed individuals intent on committing mayhem and murder.”

The Gallup poll surveyed teachers from March 5 to March 12, less than a month after the deadly school shooting Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.

Despite heavy media coverage of school shootings, the majority of students say they feel safe, as they did in 2005—when Gallup surveyed students in a similar way.

In 2005, about eight months after a school shooting in Red Lake, Minnesota, that ended in 10 deaths, including the killer, a Gallup survey found that while students said “violence, fighting, and school safety” was the top problem at school, 80 percent said they feel safe in school.

The expressed student concern in 2005 for violence, fighting, and safety was nearly double that of the next biggest concern, a four-way tie among lack of funding/budget cuts, overcrowded classrooms, use of drugs and alcohol, and lack of student effort.

Students polled at 13 percent who said school safety was the biggest problem, compared to 7 percent who said it was lack of funding or budget cuts.

The Daily Signal previously reported that schools are safer now than in the early 1990s, with shooting incidents declining by more than half since then.

The new Gallup poll surveyed 497 teachers of kindergarten through high school across the U.S. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 7 percentage points.

The Daily Signal

Written by The Daily Signal

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