As the White House considers a plan to arm teachers and school staff, a recent Gallup poll shows that the majority of educators oppose the idea. The poll comes in the aftermath of one of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings, and amid a renewed battle over gun control.
Nearly six in 10 teachers believe carrying guns on campus would make schools less safe. A vast majority felt that carrying guns does not decrease the number of gun violence victims, the poll revealed.
Nearly 500 U.S. school teachers in grades K-12 were polled last week, less than a month after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In that event, a former student killed 17 classmates and staffers.
A similar poll was taken earlier this week by the National Education Association with comparable results. According to the NEA's findings, 82 percent of educators polled would not carry a gun in school, including 63 percent of NEA members who do own a gun.
“The idea of arming teachers is ill-conceived, preposterous, and dangerous," said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. The NEA survey, she said, confirms that.
"Arming teachers and other school personnel does nothing to prevent gun violence," García said. "In fact, quite the contrary, educators would feel less safe if school personnel were armed."
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump proposed "rigorous" firearms training for some school personnel, while also beefing up background checks and expanding mental health programs for potential gun buyers.
Trump has backpedaled on the federal gun purchase age limit, saying that he did not have enough backing from Congress.
Most popular: St. Patrick's Day Parade 2018 Livestream: How to Watch
Meanwhile, a school safety bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, which would provide federal grants to make schools safer. The bill included funding for metal detectors and additional training for school officials and local law enforcement on how to respond to mental health crises.
While the bill, known as the STOP School Violence Act, provides training, it does not include the White House's proposal of arming teachers.
Also on Wednesday, thousands of students participated in a nationwide school walkout in a historic show of action against gun violence.
More from Newsweek