The prevalence of gun violence on school campuses is having a hugely detrimental effect on teachers’ morale and sense of safety. The AFT survey found that 90 percent of school employees in Texas have worried about a shooting happening on their campus, and around 42 percent said the Uvalde shooting will impact whether they return to their jobs in the Fall.
But if guns aren’t the answer teachers want, what are they asking for?
Educators agree that school funding in Texas needs a massive cash infusion. The AFT report showed almost 96 percent of respondents think the Texas Legislature should increase public education funding in the next legislative session, notably to fund mental health resources and building updates. Most educators also support some form of gun control, including stricter storage laws, an assault rifle ban, and comprehensive background checks. Texas school employees are actually more widely in favor of these reforms than the general state population.
For many, talking points around arming teachers and school hardening are a dangerous distraction from substantive discussions around gun control.
“There obviously are issues that need to be looked at, like locking doors and other safety measures you can do for a facility. But we don’t want that to be the only thing that is being talked about by the state leadership,” D’Amico said.