Friday, March 1, 2013

How do educators feel about armed teachers?

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary, lawmakers across the nation are responding with ideas to increase school safety. Here in Olympia, some lawmakers have proposed bills that would allow teachers to be armed in the classroom. While that bill (HB 1788) is not likely to pass, it does raise the question: how do teachers feel about guns in the classroom?

An online poll of 10,661 educators from all 50 states conducted by the School Improvement Network gives us an answer to that question.

The survey found that nearly three out of four teachers were unlikely to bring a firearm to the classroom if they were allowed to. It also found that only three out of ten teachers felt safe from gun violence in their school.

In other words, 69% of teachers believe gun violence could become a reality in their schools, but fewer than 30% were likely to arm themselves as a solution.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently weighed in on the issue telling reporters, "The vast majority of teachers have spoken pretty loudly and said they're not interested in being armed, so that's a red herring."

The survey also reveals how schools have increased security since the Sandy Hook shooting. A few of those include:

  • Locking doors from the inside
  • Practice lockdown drills more frequently
  • Extra security/police patrols
  • New security entrances
  • Require visitors to get a visitor's pass to be on campus
Read this story in Spanish.