Four in 10 Teachers Think Their Schools Aren't Safe From Active Shooters, Poll Finds

Maria Perez

Four out of 10 teachers who work in schools in the United States don’t think they are well protected from an active shooter entering their classrooms, a new Gallup poll found.

Twenty percent of teachers said their schools are “not too protected,” and 12 percent said their school grounds are “not protected at all,” according to the poll. The survey also found that only 9 percent of respondents said their schools are “very protected, with 51 percent of the teachers saying their campuses are “somewhat protected”.

Sixty percent of educators who were questioned for the survey said they would feel either “very prepared” or “somewhat prepared” if an attack should happen in their schools. Twenty-nine percent of teachers said they would not be prepared if this should happen, and 11 percent said they would not feel prepared at all.

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The results of the survey come just over a month after 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Many student survivors, activists and lawmakers have banded together to push for stricter policies on guns. President Donald Trump has also called on states to allow teachers to carry guns.

Michael Dorn, the executive director at Safe Havens International, a nonprofit that helps school systems improve crisis preparedness and campus safety across the globe, told Newsweek he is unsurprised by the statistics.

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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. A new poll has found that four in ten teachers don't think their schools are protected enough from an active shooter. Getty

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“We typically see a dramatic change in perception after school tragedies like shootings after Columbine or Sandy Hook,” said Dorn, who has worked for Safe Havens for 35 years.

Dorn says the nonprofit is currently on its 13th active shooter case this year. He also says it’s not unusual to see teachers questioning their levels of security at schools.

Although there is a jump in fear of school safety, Dorn says schools are much safer than they were if an active shooter were to attack in the 1970s.

“If a person or student and wanted to shoot people back then, they would almost always be successful,” said Dorn. “In every attack, we see between a dozen or two dozen attacks are successfully averted for every attack that occurs.”

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To keep schools from having another tragedy like Parkland, Dorn said better concepts are needed than some of the methods that are being introduced in schools.

“You can have an array of concepts that school districts are spending a great deal of money on. We need to slow down and build quality approaches to stop having attacks happen in schools,” said Dorn.

This article was first written by Newsweek

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