DOVER, Del. (CBS) — A new survey shows teachers are split about whether arming themselves would make schools safer.
“Gun violence and school safety are top of mind for every community, especially for parents, students and teachers. Now, a Rand Corporation survey finds one in five teachers say they would be interested in carrying a gun to school; 20% believe teachers carrying a gun would make schools safer but 54% believe armed teachers would make schools less safe, and 26% feel either way, it would not make a difference,” said Emily Rovar, a licensed social worker and program director of the adolescent program for Genpsych. “I think that they’re just under a lot of stress.”
Rovar 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,” Rovar said.
While guns are certainly a big worry, the survey shows teachers’ top safety concern is 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,” Rovar said.
Her suggestions are to increase the presence of safety officers and mental health professionals in schools to help students and their teachers feel safer.
Officials in Delaware are marking Gun Violence Awareness Month with a call to action on gun safety. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long is signing an order Monday, marking the first full week of June as Gun Violence Awareness Week in the first state.
Gun violence is considered a serious public health threat in the U.S.
CBS News Philadelphia contributed to this report.