Survey Shows How K-12 Teachers View School Security

Teachers are an unmistakably vital part of the K-12 school security equation. And survey results released by Pew Research in April help shine a new light on how teachers view school shooting and security.

With school shootings at record high, a majority of teachers in the survey were at least somewhat worried about a shooting at their school. Seven percent were extremely concerned while 11 percent were very concerned. The other 41 percent were somewhat concerned with the possibility.

When it comes to preparation for an active shooter, almost 40 percent of teachers say their school has done a fair or poor job providing them training and resources. That’s definitely a surprise after so much emphasis has been made on training teachers for an active shooter.

Teachers in urban areas were the least likely to say that their school had dome an excellent or very good job of preparing them for an active shooter.

As good news, 30 percent of teachers said that their school has done an excellent/very good job preparing them for an active shooter. Thirty percent said their school did a good job.

Of the teachers surveyed, 56 percent have a police officer or armed security guard stationed at their school.

During the 2022-2023 school year, 23 percent of teachers experienced a lockdown because of a gun or suspicion of a gun at their school. Thirty-four percent of high school teachers said their campus went on at least one lockdown because of a gun issue.

The surveyed teachers were also asked what strategies could help precent school shootings. A substantial majority, 69 percent, said improving mental health screening and treatment for children and adults would be extremely/very effective. Almost 50 percent said having police officers or armed security stationed at schools would be extremely/very effective.

While this is just a small snapshot of teachers on K-12 campuses, it shows that there is still work to be done.

This article originally appeared in the May / June 2024 issue of Campus Security Today.

About the Author

Brent Dirks is senior editor for Security Today and Campus Security Today magazines.

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