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Teachers split on whether they should be armed to make schools safer

By CBS Miami,

2023-06-05

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MIAMI - Gun violence is considered a serious public health threat in the US.

Now a new survey shows teachers are split about whether arming themselves would make schools safer.

According to the Rand Corporation survey, one in five teachers said they would be interested in carrying a gun to school, while 20 percent believe teachers carrying a gun would make schools safer. However, 54 percent believe armed teachers would make schools less safe, and 26 percent feel either way, it would not make a difference.

Emily Rovar, a licensed social worker at GenPsych, said teachers today bear a greater burden.

"Not only are they teaching our children, they are having to be mental health professionals in a way, dealing with high emotions, dealing with kids in distress. And then in the back of their mind, the thought of what if someone does come in this school," she said.

While guns are certainly a big worry, the survey found the teachers' top safety concern was bullying. Rovar said social media plays a big role and makes situations a lot worse.

"It is something that is really pervasive and it's increasing, and it's something that we need to talk about and do something about," she said.

She suggests increasing the presence of safety officers and mental health professionals in schools, steps that could help students and their teachers feel safer.

The survey also found teachers feel it is important to have a system of threat reporting and intervention. Most are confident that safety threats would be reported.

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