Teachers Overwhelmingly Oppose the Idea of Arming Teachers in Schools, New National Poll Finds

Teachers Overwhelmingly Oppose the Idea of Arming Teachers in Schools, New National Poll Finds
Teach Plus Calls on Policymakers to Listen to Students and Educators on Commonsense Gun Control Measures and School Safety

Washington, DC — Eighty-three percent of teachers oppose the idea of arming teachers in schools, and 82 percent of teachers believe that current gun control measures are too weak, according to a new national poll from Teach Plus.  The poll’s findings come in the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, and the subsequent proposals to arm teachers with concealed weapons in schools.   

The nationwide poll of 1,233 teachers, conducted between February 27 and March 8, 2018, also found that 94 percent of Teach Plus teachers believe that gun control policies should be changed to strengthen background checks for purchasing weapons, and that lawmakers should enact new policies or provide additional funding to ensure school safety.   

When asked what advice they have for policymakers, teachers underscored the need for resources and programs that support students’ social emotional learning and mental health.  According to one respondent:  “Having more guns in schools is not the answer. Providing ample resources for people with mental health problems, both in and outside of school, is a starting point. Limiting access to guns for people under 25 and with mental health problems is another starting point.”  

In conjunction with the poll, Teach Plus released a position statement on gun violence and school safety calling on lawmakers to enact commonsense gun control measures, and to listen to students and teachers on matters of school safety.  “The vast majority of teachers believe that the solution does not lie in arming our teachers, but in providing schools with the resources they need to create safe and supportive environments that ensure the success of all students,” said Roberto J. Rodríguez, Teach Plus President and CEO.  “When it comes to school safety, we need to listen to those who know and understand our schools best:  our teachers and students.”

Poll: Teacher Perspectives on School Safety 
Position Statement on Gun Violence and School Safety

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success.  Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students.   teachplus.org