Nearly three in four (74%) parents are concerned about possible shootings at their children’s school this year, according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 U.S. parents of students in grades K-12 by Wakefield Research for Hardwire.
The research revealed that most parents want safer schools by way of bulletproof protective equipment (95%) and trained security professionals (89%); in fact, nearly 1 in 5 parents have already purchased bulletproof backpacks, clipboards or other gear for their kids, with the number jumping to 25% for Millennial parents.
Safety at schools has always been a top priority, even for highly unlikely situations. Parents surveyed report their children’s schools have a variety of emergency preparedness drills in place. Fire drills are among the most common, with 80% of schools practicing them, despite fire deaths at U.S. schools having been very rare for several generations.
Schools also practice drills for tornadoes (42%), bomb threats (29%) and earthquakes (27%). By comparison, less than half (48%) do active shooter drills.
Parents are firmly behind the idea of added protections and increased safety measures to ensure their children are safe at school.
A majority of parents surveyed (86%) believe bulletproof equipment in their kids’ classrooms would improve their odds of survival in an active shooter situation and 88% of parents would also be willing to help foot the bill for protective equipment in the school or classroom.
Parents reported they believe school administrators, including principals and district leaders (30%), will be the most effective bringing change to their school in regards to safety issues. Notably, they think parents (20%) will be the second biggest catalyst for change.
Parents do not have as much faith in their legislators (18%), for making an impact on school safety.