Poll Shows Most American Students Fear School Shootings

(CN) – Amid a national debate on gun control, most American teenagers say they are worried about a shooting at their school, according to a Pew Research Center study released Wednesday.

“In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, a majority of American teens say they are very or somewhat worried about the possibility of a shooting happening at their school – and most parents of teens share that concern,” Nikki Graf, a research associate at Pew Research Center, wrote on the organization’s website.

The Pew study also found large disparities between respondents when accounting for race, family income and the party affiliation of parents. The report is based on interviews with 743 teens and more than 1,000 parents over the past month.

For example, the fear of school shootings is particularly pronounced for students of color. Nearly three-quarters of Hispanic students say they are at least somewhat worried about a shooting, compared to about half of white students saying the same.

While demographics show differences, it is noteworthy that a vast minority of students –

13 percent – say they are not worried at all about a shooting at their school.

Income differences create the largest disparity among parents. Eighty-two percent of parents who make less than $30,000 annually said they were concerned about their children getting shot at school.

The study contrasts this with parents who pull in more than $75,000, where only 53 percent of respondents expressed concern.

Regardless of demographics, most parents are worried, with 63 percent of all those surveyed saying they are concerned about school shootings affecting their children.

When it comes to solutions to the problem, there is a generational and partisan split over proposals for allowing teachers to carry guns.

Only 39 percent of students think the idea will work. While approval is only 8 percentage points higher for adults (47 percent), the number is far higher among Republican adults.

“About eight-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (78 percent) say that allowing teachers to carry guns in schools would be very or somewhat effective at preventing school shootings, compared with just 24 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents,” according to study.

Democrat and Republican adults also differ sharply on the effectiveness of an assault-weapons ban, with a vast majority of Democrats (81 percent) in favor.

The study was conducted in March and April in the immediate aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida – one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Seventeen students were killed and dozens more were injured.

The Pew survey was also conducted amid a backdrop of massive walkouts at schools across the country and enormous protests against gun violence in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.

The study was released as the nation prepares to mark the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

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