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Survey: 1 in 4 teachers experienced gun-related lockdown recently

Just 7% of teachers polled said they had no worries about a shooting at their school, as school shootings are at a record high in the U.S.
Survey: 1 in 4 teachers experienced gun-related lockdown recently
Posted at 6:48 PM, Apr 12, 2024

A significant number of educators in the U.S. — about 1 in 4 — said they have experienced their school going on a gun-related lockdown in the last year, according to data published online by the Pew Research Center this week. 

School shootings are at record levels. Education Week said the overall number of school shooting incidents in 2023 was the second-highest for any year since the organization began tracking them in 2018. 

According to the CNN school shootings database — which Pew used in its published findings — by early March, 2024 had seen at least 16 school shootings. 2023 saw 82 shootings, and 79 were recorded for 2022. There were 73 in 2021, and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 there were still 22 shootings. Just 7% of teachers surveyed by Pew in the latest study data said they were not worried at all about a shooting happening at their school, even with statistical data at such a high level in recent years. 

Meanwhile, 31% of teachers said they were not "too worried" about a shooting occurring at their school, Pew said. 

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The findings showed that around a quarter of teachers — around 23% — said they had experienced a lockdown during the 2022-2023 school year, either because of an actual firearm on campus or because of the suspicion that a firearm was present and presenting some danger. 

Pew found that high school teachers were most likely to report having experienced a gun-related lockdown, while 22% of middle school teachers and 16% of elementary school teachers reported the same situation for their grade levels. The survey data found that around 4 in 10 teachers — just around 39% — reported believing their school had done a fair to poor job in terms of providing training and resources needed to handle a possible active shooter. 

Just 30% of those surveyed said their school performed at an excellent level when it came to providing resources and knowledge to deal with an active shooter. 

Just around 13% of teachers said they believed allowing educators and administrators to be armed in schools would be "extremely or very effective at preventing school shootings." Around 7 in 10 teachers reported believing carrying a gun would be "not too or not at all effective" in preventing school shootings. 

Pew found that most parents — 63% — believed that improving mental health screenings and mental health treatment would be the only strategy that would turn out to be "extremely or very effective at preventing" a shooting at their child's school. 

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