Poll Finds More Parents Fear For Childrens

Poll Finds More Parents Fear For Children's Safety at School

PDK Poll found that parents are more scared to send their students to school than they were 20 years ago in their annual survey.

It is safe to say campus security has been on the minds of administration, faculty, local police departments, government officials, students and parents these past few months. According to a survey performed by PDK Poll, parents are more worried to send their children to school than they were 20 years ago, but a majority of them oppose armed teachers in classrooms.

According to the poll, fewer than a third of parents said they were very confident their children's school could deter a shooting. Thirty-four percent said they feared for their children's safety on campus. In 2013, only 12 percent of parents reported feeling afraid for their kids.

The PDK Poll, which aims to judge the public's view of public schools, was conducted in May and asked 1,000 adults, including 515 parents, 36 questions about school safety. It was taken three months after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School which killed 17 students and teachers.

PDK found the results of the poll so powerful that they decided to release the data, before the full results from the 50th annual PDK Poll are to be published next month.

"Most of the study’s results are being held for their traditional back-to-school release in late August," PDK said in a press release. "But after a school year that included two of the top five deadliest K-12 school shootings in U.S. history, PDK is electing to make results on school security available now as a contribution to the public discourse on this critical issue."

Other helpful insights from the poll include:

  • Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of mental health screening of all students, armed police officers in the schools and metal detectors at entrances.
  • Support for allowing teachers and other school staff to carry guns was lower, 67 percent of parents prefer not to have their child in a classroom where a teacher is armed. Sixty-three percent generally oppose allowing teachers and staff to carry guns.
  • A total of 72 percent of parents are less than extremely confident or very confident in their school's security. Forty-one percent are "somewhat" confident and 31 percent are less confident than that.

See the results at pdkpoll.org.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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