School Improvement Network just published results from a big school safety survey of 10,661 teachers, which included some from all 50 states.
Unfortunately, they didn’t quite ask the right question when it came to people with guns protecting their schools:
When asked, “Do you feel that having an armed police officer in your school would improve safety or make your school less safe?” 87.8% of educators collectively say having an armed police officer would improve safety, while 12.2% say such a presence would make schools less safe.
Schools all over have armed police officers (school resource officers), so I don’t know why they asked this question. The better question would have been about armed guards/volunteers/teachers, which is the issue South Dakota and other states have been wrestling with.
Just as unfortunately, their summary used “armed guard” and “police officer” interchangeably. Here’s the header on a pie chart that gave the results of the above questions:
HOW WOULD HAVING AN ARMED GUARD ON CAMPUS AFFECT SCHOOL SAFETY?
(Not to mention the pie chart adds up to more than 100 percent because they used the wrong number for either “improve” or “greatly improve.”)
For opponents especially, there’s a huge difference between school resource officers and armed guards or volunteers.
But supporters such as Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, who is a police officer, will tell you a police officer in South Dakota doesn’t need much firearms training to get a gun.
Whatever South Dakota teachers think of it, HB1087 is well on its way to becoming law.