Children and Adolescents Education Guns Zero Tolerance and School Discipline

About that More Guns in Schools Thingy, Californians Surveyed Say No

A new poll indicates that California voters strongly believe that more mental health services
and better emergency response training for school staff are the best strategies for preventing violence in schools. This is according to a survey of 1,200 voters released Thursday by The California Endowment. When asked whether hiring a school counselor or a police officer would be more effective at preventing violence, voters chose counselors by a margin of more than two to one (67% to 26%).

According to the Endowment:

“California voters understand that counseling and mental health services can help prevent senseless tragedies on campus—and frankly, that focus on prevention has been the missing ingredient from school safety efforts in recent years,” said Barbara Raymond, Director of Schools Policy for The California Endowment.

“Addressing gun policy and smart policing strategies are important pieces of the puzzle, but we can’t make schools safe without also improving mental health services. Counselors, nurses, and other support services are part of a range of strategies that will help make Health Happen in Schools, because we know the physical and emotional well-being of students is essential to their academic success,” Raymond said.

Among the findings are the following:

· 96% of California voters support training school staff in emergency response (including 78% “strongly support”);
· 96% support requiring every school to have a comprehensive safety plan (79% strongly—California law currently requires schools to maintain safety plans and update them annually by March 1);
· 91% support training teachers in conflict resolution techniques (64% strongly);
· 91% support expanding mental health services in communities (69% strongly);
· 91% support providing mental “first aid” training to school staff, so they can recognize the signs of mental illness in young people (64% strongly);
· 84% support increasing the number of trained counselors in schools (55% strongly);
· 50% support putting armed police officers in every school (23% strongly); and
· Only 31% support allowing teachers trained in firearms to carry guns on school grounds (16% strongly).

When asked to compare policy options directly, voters surveyed backed improving mental health services over installing more security cameras and metal detectors by a margin of 66% to 27%. By a similar margin, they preferred counselors over police (67% to 26%).

According to the Endowment:

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (65%) agreed that too many guards and gates on campus risks creating a tense, fortress-like environment that can be detrimental to a school’s educational mission. Regardless of their position on placing police in schools, 88% of voters agreed that officers assigned to schools should get special training in youth development, so they better understand teens and can work more effectively with students and teachers

The opinions of California gun owners are similar to those expressed by all voters. By a margin of 58% to 36%, gun owners agreed that placing school counselors in every school was a more effective strategy than placing armed police officers in every school. Gun owners also backed increasing mental health service in communities (93%) and providing mental health “first aid” training to school staff (87%). California gun owners were evenly split on allowing teachers to carry firearms on school grounds (49% support; 48% oppose).

For the rest of the survey graphics go here.


  • It might be more instructive to ask:
    There is ONE open staff position at your child’s school, how would you like it filled?
    a. With an armed police officer.
    b. With an armed counselor who has received special safety and firearms training.
    c. With an unarmed counselor.

  • As you are hopefully aware, most police officers never draw their revolver their whole career, but are paid because of the responsibility they carry and the possibility that they will not ever return home after their shift. I have heard individuals expouse using school janitors, counselors and teachers as armed security guards. While I think the suggestion is ignorant, are we prepared to increase these individuals salaries for the additional responsibility of carrying a firearm and endangering their lives? Think of the continual training that police officers have their whole carries in regard to firearms and the shooting requirements they are mandated to pass. Is some nervous school teacher or janitor going to have the training and sophistication to deal with real life and death issues at a moments notice? I think not, I believe that a common sense solution to this problem is to require identification of those wanting to buy arms, restricting the use of ammunition and closing the loop holes at gun shoes.

  • As far as school shootings go, the ones that were stopped by armed citizens before police were able to arrive include Pearl, Miss., and Edinboro, Pa. Another attack at a Virginia university that was stopped occurred in 2002 at the Appalachian Law School.

    . . . Odighizuwa accepted responsibility for the shootings that began after school officials told him that he was failing out of the program. On Jan. 16, 2002, he took a .380-caliber pistol to the offices of Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Prof. Thomas Blackwell and killed them before opening fire on a crowd, killing student Angela Dales, 33, and wounding three others. Odighizuwa was subdued without incident by armed students.

    Ordinary citizens who are amed stop

  • Utah allows any school employee to carry a weapon if the pass the requirements for a citizen to carry a concealed weapon. So far, it seems to work just fine.

    Forcing school employees to carry would be stupid. But *allowing* them to carry would save lives.

    The idea that improved mental health counseling at schools would prevent these tragedies is typical California hippie-dippie psycho-babble. Many of the shooters are not even students. Others would avoid the counselors. The kind of kids who commit the (extremely rare) mass shootings are either paranoid or psychopathic (Columbine) – neither would go to a counselor.

    California continues to live in a fantasy world, as the state rapidly heads towards third world status, except for its rich coastal elite.

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