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Survey Discovers Majority of US Teachers Do Not Believe Carrying a Gun to Class Increases School Safety, While 1 in 5 Think Otherwise.


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American teachers are divided on whether arming themselves will make schools safer, with one in five saying they are interested in carrying a gun to school, according to a nationally representative survey by the RAND Corporation.

The survey found that 54% of teachers believe that teachers carrying firearms will make schools less safe, 20% believe that carrying teachers will make schools safer, and 26% feel it will not make schools more or less safe.

However, it was bullying that worried teachers more than guns, which teachers listed as their top safety concern.

The survey, conducted in October and November 2022, focused on how K-12 teachers view safety in their schools.

Heather L. said: Schwartz, a report author and senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.

“Although anti-bullying programs are widespread, everyday school violence is a concern for teachers. Bullying, not active shooters, was the most common safety concern for teachers, followed by fights and drugs.”

Teachers’ beliefs about whether teacher-carrying policies will make schools safer vary by race and ethnicity as well as by the racial and ethnic composition of the students in their school. White teachers were more likely than black teachers to feel that teachers carrying firearms would make schools safer, and male teachers in rural schools were more likely to say they would carry a personal firearm in school if they were allowed to do so.

A system for reporting threats and intervention, as well as a climate that encourages adults to prevent violence before it happens, is important to school safety. Most of the teachers surveyed were confident that threats would be reported.

Visible school safety measures, other than armed personnel, were also seen to positively affect the school climate. The most common physical safety measures—which 80% or more of teachers said their school had—were visitor systems, exterior and interior locks, and staff IDs.

Based on the survey results, the researchers suggest several areas for further research. One is to develop better approaches to school safety and security planning that may balance recurrent, low-level forms of school violence such as bullying with lower-probability extreme forms of school violence such as shootings.

more information:
Teachers’ opinions on school safety: Consensus on many security measures, but stark divide on arming teachers

Provided by the RAND Corporation

the quote1 in 5 American teachers feel that taking a gun into class will make schools safer. More Than Half Disagree, Poll Finds (2023, May 31) Retrieved May 31, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-teachers-gun-class-schools-safer.html

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