Virginians split on arming teachers

Gun Rights

RICHMOND — Virginians are divided on whether they would support legislation to train school teachers and administrators to be armed on school grounds, according to a poll conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University . “It was almost split right down the middle,” said Robyn McDougle, director for the Center for Public Policy in VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, which conducted the study. The 2018-19 Winter Public Policy Poll asked a random sample of 805 adult Virginians: “Would you favor or oppose a state law allowing localities to train teachers and administrators to be armed in schools?” About 47 percent of Virginians are strongly or somewhat in favor of such training while 49 percent are strongly or somewhat opposed, the poll found. The survey’s margin of error was 3.45 percentage points. Republicans were far more likely than Democrats to favor the legislation. A little more than half of white people responded that they would support training teachers and administrators to carry weapons, compared with 34 percent of minorities. Residents of western Virginia supported arming teachers more than any other region in the state, with 63 percent strongly or somewhat favoring the proposed legislation. McDougle said the results show that “the commonwealth is still very much a split state around the importance of Second Amendment rights.” She said Virginia is “not a state where we’re one side or the other — it’s still a hotly debated topic.” The idea of arming teachers most recently circulated after the […]

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