RALEIGH – The latest Civitas Poll reveals strong sentiment when it comes to voter opinion on school safety.
The statewide poll discovered that voters are three times more likely to say that an increase in security personnel is the single best way to enhance safety for students while on campus when compared with other measures, such as metal detectors, arming teachers, or stricter gun laws.
The text and response of the question is as follows:
In your own words, what would be the single best way to enhance school security? (Registered voters were offered an open-ended question to freely answer)
43% Security guards/ More armed guards/ Police resource officers/ Military/ Trained guards
13% Metal detectors/ Scanners/ Check points/ Bag checks
11% Arm teachers/ Allow trained armed teachers
8% Stricter gun laws/ Control who can purchase weapons/ Gun control/ Limit guns
8% Lock doors/ Be buzzed in/ Only let in with a pass
6% Better parenting/ Parents to teach kids right from wrong/ Home training
5% Plan in place/ Have a safety plan
5% Get rid of guns/ No guns
4% Do not arm teachers/ Do not allow teachers to carry a gun
4% Security/ Make schools more secure (General)
3% Mental health awareness/ Better understanding of mental health
2% Funding for schools/ More money to schools
1% God back in school/ Prayer back in school
5% None/ Nothing
7% Don’t Know/ No Opinion/ Unsure
“Typically open-ended poll questions don’t result in such definitive responses. However, the overwhelming response for increased security personnel gives a clear answer to lawmakers looking for solutions,” said Donald Bryson, president of the Civitas Institute.
When it came to who voters think are best equipped to handle school security policies, over three quarters chose state or local government, with the strongest support for local control. The text of the question reads:
In general, do you think the federal government, state government or local
government is best equipped to handle school security policies?
45% Local government
31% State government
12% Federal government
3% Don’t Know/ Refused
Bryson continued, “It’s interesting to note that increased gun control was far down the list on voter’s priorities when it comes to school security solutions. Additionally, a plurality of voters expressed greater trust in local government when it came to crafting school safety policy.”
Those surveyed were also asked whether or not they supported recent walkout protests at schools around North Carolina and the nation to protest shootings and call for greater gun control.
The responses were evenly split with 49 percent in total support of the walkouts and 49 percent in total opposition, although there was a 6 point lag among those that said they strongly supported the walkouts when compared to those that strongly opposed them. The detailed breakdown is as follows:
31% Strongly Support
18% Somewhat Support
12% Somewhat Oppose
37% Strongly Oppose
2% Don’t Know/ Need More Information
Finally, when asked which option they believe provides a safer environment for students, twice as many respondents chose private schools over public schools.
22% Public Schools
44% Private Schools
11% Don’t Know/ Refused
Click here for crosstabs.
This poll surveyed 600 registered, likely voters (35% on cell phones) with a margin of error of +/- 4.00%. This survey was taken May 1-3, 2018.
Complete polling results will be released at our poll lunch on May 17, 2018. To reserve tickets for this event, sign up here.
Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization that fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life.