Public wants armed guards in schools
A large portion of North Carolinians say public schools are less safe than they were 10 years ago, and most people would prefer to have armed guards in the schools.
According to the recent High Point University poll, 42 percent of respondents said schools are now less safe than they were in the last decade, compared to 34 percent who said they are now safer and 13 percent who said they were about the same.
The results reflect a survey taken late last month and after the Dec. 14, 2012, school shootings in Newtown, Conn. In a Guilford County Schools survey taken two months before the attack, just 7 percent of 400 parents thought that schools may not be safe. Thirteen percent of 400 residents said they thought the schools were not safe.
In addition, 55 percent of those interviewed for the HPU poll said schools should post armed guards, while 41 percent did not think that all schools should have armed guards. The GCS survey did not address armed guards in the schools.
“North Carolinians are concerned about school safety,” said Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll. “And this is part of a larger conversation about how to stop the violent crimes that have we see in the news with great frequency. The HPU Poll will examine this issue more closely in upcoming surveys.”
The Guilford County Board of Education formed a task force last month to review school security and to find better ways to handle possible attacks. Several parents have called for adding school resource officers at elementary schools, but school board members have not discussed hiring more officers and how much it would cost. So far, district leaders have re-emphasized current procedures, such as locking doors and making sure all visitors check in with their names.
The HPU responses came from a sample of 668 adults from all counties in the state with landline or cellular telephones. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of about 3.8 percentage points.
Survey: As an eduction issue, school safety ranked third with parents and fourth among community residents, according to a recent Guilford County Schools survey.
Poll: Go to the Survey Research Center website at http://src.highpoint.edu/