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Poll: Most teachers oppose being armed

Poll: Most teachers oppose being armed

73 percent of surveyed teachers said they oppose being armed in school
Poll: Most teachers oppose being armed
Orange ribbons tied to a fence at Columbine High School, on a national day of protest over gun violence, in Littleton, Colo.
Photographer: Chet Strange/The New York Times

More than 70 percent of teachers across the country oppose being armed in school, while 20 percent strongly or somewhat favored the idea, according to a Gallup poll of nearly 500 teachers nationwide that was released Friday.

In the poll -- part of a forthcoming series of surveys about teachers' attitudes on school safety issues -- 73 percent of surveyed teachers said they oppose being armed in school. Sixty-three percent of the respondents were strongly opposed.

But at least some of the nation's teachers think allowing teachers to carry guns in schools could be part of a solution to mass school shootings. Twenty percent said they favored arming teachers, with 11 percent strongly in favor of the idea. In some schools nationwide, teachers already have access to guns.

More than half of the poll's respondents -- 58 percent -- said they think schools would be less safe, if certain teachers and staff were armed with guns. Twenty percent of respondents said they think armed teachers would make schools safer, while 22 percent said they thought schools would be about as safe as they are now. 

Educators in the Capital Region -- from the state's education commissioner to classroom teachers -- have largely expressed opposition to arming teachers, after President Donald Trump floated the idea in the aftermath of a Florida school shooting last month.

"It's hard for me to articulate in words adequately how bad of an idea I think it is to arm non-law enforcement personnel in school buildings," Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring said in an interview earlier this month.

Teachers and other administrators have expressed similar concerns.

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