Majority of teachers in new survey say arming educators would make students less safe

A majority of teachers believe educators carrying firearms on school premises would make students less safe, according to a survey from the RAND Corporation.

The survey released Wednesday shows 54 percent of teachers think students would be unsafe with educators carrying guns, 20 percent say carrying guns would make students safer and 26 percent believe it wouldn’t significantly impact safety.

There have been 36 school shootings in the U.S. during the 2022-23 school year, according to a tracker from The Washington Post.

Arming teachers is one solution to the gun violence that has been largely supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.

States are also split on the issue: 20, run by both Democrats and Republicans, allow educators to carry firearms on campus, with some having more strict requirements than others.

In Delaware, educators can carry a gun with no restrictions. In Oregon, teachers need a concealed carry permit to bring a gun on school grounds.

At least 17 states don’t allow educators to carry guns at all.

However, despite the concerns around mass shootings, teachers listed bullying as their top safety concern for students.

“Even with the unfortunate regularity of gun violence in U.S. schools, which often drives the policy debate around school safety, only five percent of teachers overall selected gun violence as their largest safety concern,” said Heather Schwartz, a report author and senior policy researcher at RAND.

“Despite the prevalence of anti-bullying programs, everyday school violence is a concern for teachers. Bullying, not active shooters, was teachers’ most common top safety concern, followed by fights and drugs,” she added.

The survey was conducted in October and November among 974 educators. Its margin of error ranged from 1 percent to 7 percent.

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