Packing Heat in the Classroom: Public Support for “Armed Teacher” Policy

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Packing Heat in the Classroom: Public Support for “Armed Teacher” Policy

Category: Concealed Carry|Journal: Journal of School Violence|Author: A Cook, C Mancini, J Smith, R McDougle|Year: 2020

Recently, states have enacted teacher-carry laws. While controversial, little scholarship has tapped public attitudes toward such reforms. Because public opinion shapes policy, the public is an important stakeholder in this debate. Thus, we investigated three questions. First, how supportive is the public of arming teachers? Second, what demographic and social divides exist, if any, for reform approval? Finally, do crime-related perceptions, concerning views about public safety, and criminogenic influences shape policy preferences? We test these questions using a 2018 poll of Virginia residents (N = 521). Overall, approval for teacher-carry is split. Crime-related perceptions mediate some of the initial social and demographic divides in opinion but other correlates, such as parental status, remain salient predictors of views. Implications are discussed.

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