A new Gallup poll indicates that 24% of parents fear for their children's safety when they are at school. This is down 9 percentage points since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, but still above the historical low point of concern of 15% in 2008. The average percent of concern since 1977 has been 29%.
So what does all of this mean? The poll concerns the "physical safety" of children, so a variety of potential fears come into play, from an active shooter to bullying to a physical assault. Pollsters believe a lack of recent school shootings and greater safety measures might be factors in the decrease in concern.
While this may be good news on all fronts, we cannot become complacent as a new school year begins. Just because parents aren't highly anxious or demanding rigorous safety measures, doesn't mean that we can ignore the continual presence of threats of violence in our schools. As educators, our responsibility is to maximize the safety of our students every day, regardless of what has, or has not occurred.
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