Just weeks after a gunman killed 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, the possibility of another school shooting hasn’t created much worry among teachers, a new poll found.
A national survey of 497 K-12 teachers conducted by Gallup in early March found that, though few teachers felt well protected from a gunman entering their school or prepared in the event one does, the majority aren’t terribly worried about a shooting taking place where they work.
Sixty-four percent of the teachers surveyed said they were either “not too worried” or “not worried at all” about the possibility of becoming a school shooting victim. And they reported their students felt similarly: 55 percent said students are “not too worried” or “not worried at all.”
In fact, teachers and students haven’t spoken much about the possibility of a shooting at their school. Fifty-seven percent of teachers surveyed said they’ve spoken “a little/none at all” about a shooting taking place and reported 64 percent of their students have done the same.
Despite the lack of discussion, only 9 percent of teachers survey said they felt their school was “very protected” from a shooter entering, and 40 percent said their school was either “not too protected” or “not protected at all.” The same percentage said their school wouldn’t be well protected should a shooter get inside.
What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between whether teachers feel their schools are protected from a shooter and how much they worry about shootings. Even among those teachers who felt their schools are poorly protected, most don’t worry much about a shooting taking place.
Asked how best to prevent school shootings, more the teachers surveyed mentioned gun control more frequently than they did beefing up school security measures. In response to an open-ended question about how best to prevent school shootings in the U.S., 33 percent of respondents mentioned stricter restrictions on gun purchases, and 22 percent mentioned a ban on assault weapons or certain types of guns.
Only 15 percent mentioned additional security at schools, and 7 percent brought up arming teachers.
Cover image: Gabriel Constantino(C) and Nikki Healey (R) from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stand together at a memorial after walking out of school to honor the memories of 17 classmates and teachers that were killed during a mass shooting at the school on March 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)