(USA TODAY) - The online survey of 10,661 teachers and administrators from all 50 states, due out Wednesday, was conducted in late January by the School Improvement Network.
Post-Newtown suggestions about arming teachers haven't gained much traction with teachers themselves, a new nationwide survey suggests: Nearly three in four educators say they would be unlikely to bring a firearm to school if allowed to do so.
Even among the 36% who say they own a gun, only about one in three would be likely to bring it to school.
The online survey of 10,661 teachers and administrators from all 50 states, due out Wednesday, was conducted in late January by the School Improvement Network, a large Utah-based teacher-training company.
In the wake of the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, many experts have pushed to improve school security, with wide-ranging proposals including arming teachers, banning guns and increasing police presence in schools. But no one was asking teachers what they thought, CEO Chet Linton said. "They are the ones that are living with the risk as it relates to school safety and violence, so we thought it would be good just to share what they had to say."
Johnny Price, owner of Big Iron Concealed Handgun Training in Waco, Texas, said that since late December, he has trained more than 1,100 teachers to carry a concealed weapon under Texas law, which restricts permit holders from carrying guns on campus but allows school districts to override the restriction.
Even with the certification, he said, teachers need more training. "Most of these teachers that come through, I've told them, 'Y'all aren't ready to carry in a school because we don't want a child hurt - period.'"
Lawmakers in several states this winter hope to broaden mostly restrictive state laws that don't allow armed teachers on campus.
In Arizona last week, Attorney General Tom Horne and state Rep. David Stevens introduced legislation that would allow school districts to designate staff members to carry a firearm on campus.
The survey finds that the overwhelming majority of educators, 92%, feel their schools are safe. But nearly one in three says their school is not safe from gun violence. Nearly 90% say having an armed police officer in school would improve safety, while 12% say armed cops in schools would make schools less safe.
A week after the Dec. 14 shootings that killed 20 children and six school staff members, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called on Congress to "appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school - and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January."