Survey: Teachers don't want to carry guns, do support armed guards

A survey of teachers revealed most teachers would not bring a weapon to their school but would feel safer with armed guards.

Story highlights

  • Company conducted online survey of nearly 11,000 educators
  • They were asked about weapons, school safety
  • Teachers don't embrace carrying guns
  • But they back armed guards

Nearly three-fourths of the nation's teachers say they personally would not bring a firearm to their school if allowed, but most educators believe armed guards would improve campus safety, a new survey showed.

Since the December massacre by a lone gunman in Newtown, Connecticut, many schools have hastened to add safety measures in an effort to prevent similar violence.

The most common step since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead has been ensuring that all doors are locked, teachers said.

Company develops bulletproof whiteboards
Company develops bulletproof whiteboards


    Company develops bulletproof whiteboards


Company develops bulletproof whiteboards 01:44
School district allows guns for teachers
School district allows guns for teachers


    School district allows guns for teachers


School district allows guns for teachers 01:31
Teachers in Utah take class on guns
Teachers in Utah take class on guns


    Teachers in Utah take class on guns


Teachers in Utah take class on guns 01:42
School allows teachers to carry guns
School allows teachers to carry guns


    School allows teachers to carry guns


School allows teachers to carry guns 01:58

Of the nearly 11,000 educators surveyed nationwide, most said they generally feel safe in their schools, but disagreed on whether their workplaces were safe from gun violence.

Nearly four in 10 school superintendents who responded said their schools were not safe from gun violence, slightly higher than the 31% of teachers who felt their schools were not safe.

Mark Kelly: Gun loophole makes no sense

January's online survey was conducted by School Improvement Network, a for-profit company that specializes in professional development for educators and partners with schools, districts, and educators.

Some 72.4% of educators said they would be unlikely to bring a firearm to school if allowed to do so.

The company's CEO, Chet Linton, said given his company's close ties with the education community, it felt the need to make sure teachers voices were brought into the debate over gun policy.

"We have a community of more than 900,000 educators that are part of our network and as we watched the coverage of Sandy Hook unfold and politicians and other groups begin to respond to the tragedy, we were concerned that the country was not hearing from educators. They are the experts in the classroom," Linton told CNN in an e-mail.

School Improvement Network says its mission is solely focused on the business of education. The company said it has no affiliation with any gun control or gun rights groups.

The Connecticut shooting jolted the nation and prompted a new debate over gun control. Suspect Adam Lanza brought three weapons inside Sandy Hook Elementary school on December 14 and left a fourth in his car, police said. The weapons taken inside were a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two handguns -- a Glock 10 mm and a Sig Sauer 9 mm.

Since then, in Congress and state houses across the nation, lawmakers have grappled with how to curb the threat of gun violence without infringing on the constitutional right to bear arms.

Proposals in Washington would ban assault weapons, expand background check requirements for gun purchasers, and tighten loopholes to further keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

Despite emotional hearing, weapons ban given little chance of passing

The politically powerful National Rifle Association has argued armed guards in schools could prevent shootings such as the one in Connecticut.

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive, raised the possibility the Newtown massacre might have been averted had the school employed an armed guard.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a well known crusader who has spent millions of his own money on gun control efforts, called the NRA's idea for armed guards in schools "a paranoid vision of America."

But teachers appear to disagree with Bloomberg's assumption. Almost 90% said an armed police officer would improve safety in their schools, not make them less safe, according to the survey.

Educators also detailed ways that schools have improved security following Newtown.

Sample responses included armed guards, periodic vehicle patrols and in-person visits by police and volunteers to monitor doors.

NRA promises new ads, blasts 'real consequences' of background checks

School officials also said they were adding security entrances, door buzzers to control access and were implementing more frequent lock down drills.

The survey was not a scientific measure of opinion.

Teens and young adults remain more likely than persons of other ages to be slain with a gun. Most violent gun crime, especially homicide, occurs in cities and urban communities, according to data collected by the Justice Department.

From 1976 to 2005, 77 percent of homicide victims ages 15-17 died from gun-related injuries. This age group was most at risk for gun violence during this time period. But it's not in schools where children are most vulnerable to gun violence -- it's at home.

Most homicide victims under age 5 were killed by a parent. In 2008, 59% of young child homicide victims were killed by a parent, 10% were killed by some other family member and 30% were murdered by a friend or acquaintance.

Opinion: NRA's enemies list: Most of America

      Gun control debate

    • Keeping weapons from mentally ill proves elusive

      Gun rights and gun control advocates largely agree there should be restrictions on mentally ill people obtaining firearms. The case of Myron Fletcher illustrates how difficult it is to put that into practice.
    • Has the moment passed? Why gun control push fizzled

      Six months after a gunman burst into a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school and slaughtered 20 children and killed six others, promises of stricter national gun control laws remain largely unfulfilled.
    • An undated photo of murder suspect Elliot Rodger is seen at a press conference by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff in Goleta, California May 24, 2014. Rodger, 22, went on a rampage in Isla Vista near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus, stabbed three people to death at his apartment before shooting to death three more in a terrorizing crime spree through the neighborhood. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

      Opinion: The real gun problem is mental health, not the NRA

      Next time there's a mass shooting, don't jump to blame the National Rifle Association and lax gun laws. Look first at the shooter and the mental health services he did or didn't get, and the commitment laws in the state where the shooting took place.
    • Melvin Speight uses a camera scope run down a barrel to check the rifleing inside. Speight has been with Colt for 7 years.

      At Colt's factory, no apologies for arming America

      The sign at the door of the Colt factory displays a gun with a slash through it: "No loaded or unauthorized firearms beyond this point." Understandable for workers at a plant, but also a bit ironic, considering one of the largest arsenals in America lies just beyond.
    • clip inside man spurlock gun ownership_00004707.jpg

      Five things to know about guns

      Morgan Spurlock's "Inside Man" gives CNN viewers an inside and in-depth look at the issue of firearms -- as viewed from behind the counter of a gun store. Here are five things to know about the debate.
    •  	US President Barack Obama is accompanied by former lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords (L), vice president Joe Biden (R) and family members of Newtown school shooting victims as he speaks on gun control at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2013. Obama on Wednesday slammed what he called a 'minority' in the US Senate for blocking legislation that would have expanded background checks on those seeking to buy guns. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

      Senate rejects expanded background checks

      The Senate defeated a compromise plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons.
    • Jessica Ghawi

      The lives shattered by bullets

      As Congress grapples with major gun control legislation proposals, brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and children write about the people they loved and lost to gun violence and how it changed their lives.
    • How background checks work

      Many Americans and lawmakers are in favor of continuing or expanding background checks on gun purchases, but few understand how the checks work.
    • Connecticut lawmakers pass gun law

      Still stinging from the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook, Connecticut lawmakers approved what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation.
    • Sandy Hook shooter had gun safe

      It took fewer than five minutes for Adam Lanza to squeeze off 154 rounds, upending life in Newtown, Connecticut, and triggering a renewed national debate over gun control.
    • Faces of the gun debate

      A former drug addict turned anti-violence crusader, and a man who lost his father in a temple shooting. These are just two of many in the conversation.