MEA members support enhanced school safety, oppose allowing more guns in schools
LANSING – The Michigan Education Association (MEA) today released results from a new statewide survey of its members that found an overwhelming majority oppose arming educators. Legislation to allow school personnel to carry guns or keep guns in locked boxes in schools has been proposed by politicians at both the state and national level.
“This poll clearly demonstrates that teachers and support staff on the frontlines do not believe arming school employees will make schools safer – in fact, many of our members feel allowing more guns in schools will make them less safe,” said Paula Herbart, president of the Michigan Education Association. “Policymakers should listen to educators who work every day with students instead of pushing irresponsible proposals that would make our schools less safe.”
The survey was conducted by GBA Strategies and included responses from 1,005 public school employees who are members of the Michigan Education Association. Key findings of the survey include:
- Nearly half (49 percent) of educators believe that the level of gun violence has reached a state of crisis for the country and 32 percent see it as a very serious
- A 58 percent majority of members are worried there could be a mass shooting at their own school.
- A strong 71 percent of members oppose allowing school employees to carry concealed guns in schools and 67 percent of educators say allowing school personnel to carry firearms in schools would be ineffective at preventing gun violence in schools.
- Sixty-three percent of members oppose a proposal to allow school employees to have guns in schools, even if they are required to receive firearms training and guns are locked and can only be accessed by a teacher’s fingerprint. MEA members also oppose allowing concealed carry in schools (62 percent oppose).
- A 71 percent majority of members believe increasing funding and resources for mental health counseling would be very effective at preventing gun violence in schools.
“As a retired teacher, a gun owner, and a supporter of the Second Amendment, I believe arming school employees is the wrong approach for improving school safety and protecting our kids,” said Jim Pearson, retired teacher. “Michigan educators want more funding for mental health counseling to prevent tragedies from happening in the first place, not more guns in schools.”
Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5508