Wednesday - December 12, 2018
Poll: Arming Teachers Bad Idea
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 08 March 2018 10:36

ELON -- More than three-quarters of North Carolina public school teachers believe that allowing teachers to carry guns in school is a bad idea, according to a new Elon University Poll conducted in partnership with the Raleigh News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer. The poll found that only a quarter of teachers would consider carrying a gun in school if allowed to do so. The survey of North Carolina teachers in a range of public schools across the state comes during an ongoing national conversation about the best ways to deter shootings on school campuses. President Donald Trump has advocated for arming teachers who have received special training, a proposal that has been implemented in a few school districts around the country and is now being more widely considered by local, state and federal officials.

The Elon Poll found that a majority of N.C. public school teachers said allowing teachers to carry guns on campus and in the classroom would be harmful to the learning environment, would make them feel less safe, and would ultimately lead to an increase in gun-related deaths in American public schools. Most expressed concern that a gun carried by a teacher would fall into the wrong hands.

“The people who would be most responsible for implementing any policy about arming teachers are the teachers themselves,” said Jason Husser, director of the Elon Poll and associate professor of political science. “Hearing the voices of teachers on this issue is essential. As a result, we went to great effort to make sure our survey is representative of the diversity of teachers in North Carolina. We wanted to know not only if they think arming teachers is a good or bad idea, but also why they have the opinions they do.”

The poll gathered opinions about a range of school security measures being considered and whether armed teachers could reliably stop a school shooting. The poll also assessed the familiarity of N.C. teachers with using firearms.

Additionally, the Elon Poll report includes open-ended comments from teachers about the survey that provide further insights into their thoughts on the issues, correlated with how they responded to the questions and their demographic information. These comments are available in the complete poll report, available online here

The survey of 379 N.C. public school teachers was conducted Feb. 28 through March 5, with respondents contacted by email as well as using live-caller, dual-frame (landline and cell phone) survey techniques. Survey results in this news release have a margin of error of +/- 5.03 percent (questions asked of all 379 email and telephone respondents) and +/- 6.6 percent (questions asked only to the 227 email respondents). The full poll report indicates which questions were asked of all respondents and which were asked only to those contacted by email.

 
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