Survey finds Michigan teachers don't want to be given guns to deter school shootings


Hundreds of metro Detroiters attended the March for Our Lives to to demand legislative changes to protect students. - JAY JURMA
  • Jay Jurma
  • Hundreds of metro Detroiters attended the March for Our Lives to to demand legislative changes to protect students.

The vast majority of Michigan school staff members do not want to see educators given guns to deter school shootings, a new poll released by the Michigan Education Association has found.

The survey, which polled 1,005 public school employees who are MEA members, found 71 percent oppose allowing school employees to carry concealed guns in schools, and 67 percent say allowing school personnel to carry firearms would be "ineffective at preventing gun violence in schools."

"This poll clearly demonstrates that teachers and support staff on the frontlines do not believe arming school employees will make schools safer — in fact, many of our members feel allowing more guns in schools will make them less safe," MEA president Paula Herbart said in a statement. "Policymakers should listen to educators who work every day with students instead of pushing irresponsible proposals that would make our schools less safe."

The poll did find that 95 percent of respondents believe schools need more funding for mental health services.

Other findings include:

• Nearly half (49 percent) of educators believe that the level of gun violence has reached a state of crisis for the country and 32 percent see it as a very serious

• A 58 percent majority of members are worried there could be a mass shooting at their own school.

• Sixty-three percent of members oppose a proposal to allow school employees to have guns in schools, even if they are required to receive firearms training and guns are locked and can only be accessed by a teacher’s fingerprint. MEA members also oppose allowing concealed carry in schools (62 percent oppose).

• A 71 percent majority of members believe increasing funding and resources for mental health counseling would be very effective at preventing gun violence in schools.

The Trump administration floated the idea of arming teachers earlier this year, after a deadly shooting at a south Florida high school. Previously, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has said arming teachers "should be an option."

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