A new poll found that 45% of American adults approve of arming teachers in the classroom with firearms for safety.
A PDK International poll has revealed that nearly half of Americans approve of arming teachers in public school classrooms. Despite being a progressive organization, focused on social justice and equity movements, even PDK International cannot avoid the fact that communities are divided on this issue. While each group has its reasons, each state is adapting school security protocols to properly represent its population’s needs.
Arming teachers has been a serious debate for the American public for some years now. Poll after poll displays an obvious divide between conservative and liberal approaches to school safety. Just as the country is facing a cultural split over whether or not critical race theory and gender theory should be taught alongside core subjects in classrooms, allowing teachers to carry guns in school is constantly entering community discussions and arguments.
Opponents of this method claim that armed teachers cannot properly serve as law enforcement in the event of a violent act. They also cite the fact that many teachers do not wish to arm themselves, but those who support this practice point to the Uvalde School shooting, and other various situations where law enforcement failed to protect students and the public from violent attackers. In addition, legally armed gun owners have repeatedly stopped mass shooters from harming crowds by acting quickly while thrust in the middle of deadly situations. Instead of being left helpless, as police wait for orders or fear for their own safety, allowing individuals to choose to protect themselves and others has proven effective time and time again throughout the past year and for years before that.
Other security measures have received public support. While arming teachers is still a divisive topic, increasing security systems, hiring armed police officers, and screening students for mental health issues are also other efforts that many believe will encourage school safety. Despite this, even these measures have varying divides. Parents with children in the public education system are more likely to support placing armed police officers on campus than the general public. Parents have more stock in school safety measures, as their children are the ones directly affected by these procedures. Media attention surrounding school shootings is often much more voluminous than given to shooting attempts which are stopped and even prevented by law officers and/or a “good guy with a gun.”
This has likely swayed public opinion on the subject of arming teachers and other school security officers, yet still 45% of Americans support arming teachers and the majority of people are in favor of placing armed officers on school grounds. There are many different approaches to school safety and security techniques that serve varying communities. Each state has different challenges and needs to focus on and that is also another factor that needs to be taken into account when polling the nation at large.
Arming teachers may be necessary in some areas, should they wish to do so. Some states have already approved voluntary participation in gun training and classroom carry initiatives, but states with populations that do not support this method are more reluctant. This is a perfect example of the diverse population residing within the United States. The country has always been a melting pot, and because of that diversity of thought is prominent. What works for one state may not be successful in another and so the issue of school security may not be properly addressed at the federal level, but more focused throughout state and local agencies.