Politics over solutions? Teacher priorities for safer schools

Politics over solutions? Teacher priorities for safer schools differ from students  

Bottom Line: A couple of weeks ago I shared the first accredited research released sharing the perspective of what students thought would make their school safer. Here's a recap of the findings from the Pew Research Center. 

  • #1: Preventing those with mental health issues from legally owning a firearm  
  • #2: Improving mental health screening and treatment  
  • #3: Metal detectors  
  • #4: Additional gun control  
  • #5: Allowing armed school staff  

Gallup just wrapped up their own research and they surveyed only teachers. Here's their top five priority list: 

  • #1: Additional gun control  
  • #2: Banning "assault weapons" 
  • #3: Additional mental healthcare for students 
  • #4: Enhanced security at schools (bullet proof door, windows/guards) 
  • #5: Improved mental health screening prior to legally purchasing a firearm 

You'll notice a contrast. But here's the thing. As I cited at the time I shared the student research. Only one of the in-school shootings this year included a gun that was legally purchased (Nikolas Cruz). The top suggestion that had a credible of stopping all shootings was the third suggestion by the students. Metal detectors. That one didn't show up as a priority for teachers but clearly a desire for extensive gun control did. I found it interesting how the priorities for security differ and it leads me to wonder if politics plays a prominent role. With most teachers being unionized and over 90% of teacher unions using money for political purposes favoring Democrats and left-leaning causes generally – is that clouding their view as they play a prominent role in next steps for improving school security?  

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