Poll: Parents’ School Safety Concerns Down Slightly
While the numbers have improved, they still exceed previous measurements following prominent school shootings.
Results from a new survey show a slight decline in parents who are concerned about their children’s safety while in school.
The latest results from Gallup’s annual Work and Education survey, conducted Aug. 1-23, found 38% of parents polled fear for their child’s safety, down slightly from 44% measured last year following the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
Not surprisingly, the data shows parental concern typically rises following a prominent school shooting. Last year’s measurements were the highest level in over two decades. Although the numbers have improved, they are still high compared to previous years. The new data exceeds Gallup’s measurements after the 2006 Amish schoolhouse shooting in Pennsylvania, the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut, and the 2018 Parkland, Fla., high school shooting, according to the findings.
The analytics company noted the most recent results mark one of the highest percentages since the organization started tracking the measurement in 1977. The highest measurement was 55% following the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, which claimed the lives of 12 students and a teacher. The following year, it dipped to 26% but spiked back up to 45% following a 2001 shooting at Santana High School in California.
“Though memories of the tragic Uvalde shooting have faded somewhat, parents are still more likely to be concerned about their children’s safety than before the attack,” Gallup wrote in its analysis. “Moreover, perhaps indicating these events are having a cumulative effect, parents are more concerned now than they were in the aftermath of other high-profile school shooting tragedies.”
The survey also asked parents if their children have expressed worry about feeling unsafe at school. Fourteen percent said their children have, down from 20% last year.
The current figure still exceeds the historical average of 12%. Most years, between 8% and 12% of parents said their child has expressed concern to them. As with parents’ fears, the higher levels were generally found following prominent school shootings.
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