54% of Teens Don’t Feel Safe Returning to School, New Poll Finds

As more students return to in-person learning, most teens don’t feel confident that their schools are prepared to address mental health and safety needs.

54% of Teens Don’t Feel Safe Returning to School, New Poll Finds

The third poll in a series of nationwide safety and well-being surveys conducted by Navigate360, a full-spectrum safety preparedness and response company, and John Zogby Strategies, a national polling firm, reveals the majority of teens (54%) don’t feel schools are equipped to respond effectively to emergency incidents.

The poll further found only 37% of teens are confident their classmates know what to do in an emergency and only 35% think their school’s leadership knows how to respond to an emergency to ensure minimal casualties and loss of life.

Additionally, only 23% of teens believe that their school is prepared to handle mental health issues compared to 62% of parents who feel schools have sufficient resources to address mental health concerns.

When asked where teens felt most safe, schools consistently came in last over other locations such as their after-school job, place of worship, favorite restaurant, or store.

Here are some additional findings from the survey:

  • 38% of teens are confident that school officials can create an atmosphere of physical and social-emotional safety in the classroom
  • 49% of teens and 51% of parents are aware of a classmate or student who was bullied because of their race, sexual orientation, or income level
  • Only 42% of teens know where and how to report a threat or risk
  • 59% know someone who has considered self-harm or suicide, up three points from the previous poll conducted in January
  • 78% of parents with children under 17 report they are worried about the mental health impact of COVID-19 isolation and stress on their children
    • 62% of parents reported that they talk to their children about mental health issues and 36% said they never do

“With schools opening again and the tragic increase in violence across the country, we have a lot of work to do to relearn socialization skills, identify concerning behavior and react to potential threats of harm in real-time,” said Navigate360 CEO JP Guilbault. “Catching up on learning loss cannot be our singular area of focus this summer and fall. We must actively and proactively work together to create spaces that are safe physically, socially and emotionally.”

For findings from the previous surveys, click here and here.

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