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  Washington Post-ABC News Poll: School Safety

Tuesday, April 27, 1999

The following Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted with 500 high school teenagers and 522 parents of high school teenagers nationwide. Of these interviews, 382 sets were conducted with parents and teenagers in the same household. Margin of error for teens and parents is plus or minus 4.5 percent. Interviewing was conducted by ICR of Media, Pa., on April 22-25.

1. In your opinion, is violence at your high school a very serious problem, somewhat serious, not too serious or not much of a problem at all?

              --Serious(NET)--   ----Not serious(NET)---    No
               NET  Very  Smwht   NET  Not too  Not at all  opin.
4/25/99 Teen    23    5     18     77     29        49        -
4/25/99 Parent  23    4     19     76     31        46        1
2. Would you say you personally feel very safe from violence at your school, somewhat safe, somewhat unsafe, or very unsafe?
                 ---Safe(NET)----   --Unsafe(NET)---     No
                 NET  Very  Smwht   NET  Smwht  Very    opin.
4/25/99 Teen     88   42     47     11      9     2       *
4/25/99 Parent   82   27     55     17     14     3       1
3. How would you rate the security precautions that your school has in place to try to prevent violence there? Would you say the security at your school is excellent, good, not so good or poor?
               --Exc/Good(NET)--   --Not good/poor(NET)--    No
               NET   Exc   Good    NET    Not good   Poor   opin.
4/25/99 Teen    70   12     59      29     19         10      *
4/25/99 Parent  61    9     52      35     22         13      4
4. Do you think your school is doing enough to try to prevent violence there, or should it be doing more?
                  Doing enough    Should do more    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen           57               42               1     
4/25/99 Parent         45               50               5
5. As you may know, two students shot and killed several people at a high school in Littleton, Colorado this week. What's the chance this kind of thing could happen at your school - would you say it's very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely, or very unlikely?
                 ---Likely(NET)----   --Unlikely(NET)---     No
                 NET   Very   Smwht   NET   Smwht   Very    opin.
4/25/99 Teen     40      9      31     58     29     29       2
4/25/99 Parent   49     11      37     48     27     21       4
6. Can you think of any students at your own school who you think might be troubled enough to do something like this?
                 Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       40    59         2 
4/25/99 Parent     23    68         9
7. At your school is there any group of students who hang out together and who seem to be especially troubled, anti-social and perhaps prone to violence?
                   Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       40     58         1 
4/25/99 Parent     24     62        13
8. I'm going to name a few things your school might or might not do in an effort to prevent violence there.(First/Next) is (read item). As far as you know, is that something your school does or does not do?

a. Try to identify troubled students who may be prone to violence

                  Does   Does not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       55      32            13 
4/25/99 Parent     56      19            25
b. Have metal detectors at school entrances
                  Does   Does not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        5      94             1 
4/25/99 Parent      5      90             5
c. Conduct random searches of students' lockers
                Does   Does not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       51      46             3 
4/25/99 Parent     49      36            15
d. Conduct random searches of students themselves
                  Does   Does not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       25      72             3 
4/25/99 Parent     21      59            20
e. Have police officers or armed security guards on patrol at the school
                 Does   Does not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       61      38             1 
4/25/99 Parent     50      47             3
f. Offer effective counseling and other assistance to troubled students
                 Does   Does not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       88      10             2 
4/25/99 Parent     80      12             9
9. Now for each one, please tell me if that's something you think your school should or should not be doing. Should your school (read item), or not?

a. Try to identify troubled students who may be prone to violence

                  Should   Should not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        93         6             1 
4/25/99 Parent      97         2             1
b. Have metal detectors at school entrances
                 Should   Should not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        50        49             1 
4/25/99 Parent      59        37             5
c. Conduct random searches of students' lockers
                  Should   Should not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        68        31             * 
4/25/99 Parent      81        17             2
d. Conduct random searches of students themselves
                 Should   Should not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        50        49             1 
4/25/99 Parent      56        42             2
e. Have police officers or armed security guards on patrol at the school
                  Should   Should not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        69        30             1 
4/25/99 Parent      65        33             2
f. Offer effective counseling and other assistance to troubled students
                  Should   Should not    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        98         1             1 
4/25/99 Parent      97         2             1
10. Do you personally know any students who have ever brought a gun to your school, or not?
                  Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       20     79         1 
4/25/99 Parent     13     83         3
10a. (Of those who knew of a student bringing a gun to school) Did you report it to a teacher or some other adult, or not?
                  Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       16     83         1 
4/25/99 Parent*    82     11         7
* If your child knew a student who brought a gun to school, do you think your child would report it to a teacher or some other adult, or not?

10b. (Of those who did not know of a student bringing a gun to school)If you did know a student who brought a gun to school, do you think you would report it to a teacher or some other adult, or not? (Not asked of parents)

                   Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       90      9         1 
 
11. Have you ever heard a student at your school threaten to kill someone, or not? (Not asked of parents)
                   Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       32     67         1 
11a. (Of those teens who have heard a student threaten to kill someone) How many times have you heard such a thing - once, two or three times, four or five times, or more than that?
               Once   2-3   4 or 5    More than that    No opin.
4/25/99 Teen    22     43     12            23              -
11b. (Of those teens who have heard a student threaten to kill someone) Did you take (it/them) seriously, or not?
                   Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       27     72         1 
11c. (Of those teens who have heard a student threaten to kill someone) Did you report (it/them) to a teacher or some other adult, or not?
                  Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       22     78         - 
12. Has anyone at your high school ever threatened to kill you, or not? (not asked of parents)
                   Yes     No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        5      95         - 
13. At your school, do you often feel like an outcast, or not?(not asked of parents)
                   Yes     No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen        7      92         *
14. Are there any students in your school who you would consider to be neo-Nazis or skinheads, or not?
                                 Teen        No
                   Yes    No    is (vol.)   opinion
4/25/99 Teen       21     77        -          2
4/25/99 Parent     13     72       NA         15
14a. (Of those who say there are neo-Nazis/skinheads in school) Do you think neo-Nazis or skinheads in your school are more prone to violence than other students, less prone to violence, or about the same?
                  More    Less     Same    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       38       2       59          1
14b. How difficult or easy do you think it would be for you to get a gun?
               ---Easy(NET)----   -Difficult(NET)-  Have gun  No
               NET  Very  Smwht   NET  Smwht  Very   (vol.)  opin
4/25/99 Teen    54   31     23     45    23    22      -      1
4/25/99 Parent  48   28     20     49    28    21      1      3
14c. How difficult or easy do you think it would be for you to get information on how to make a bomb?
              ---Easy(NET)----  -Difficult(NET)-  Have info  No
               NET  Very  Smwht  NET  Smwht  Very   (vol.)   opin
4/25/99 Teen    67   44     23     32     16    17      -      *
4/25/99 Parent  79   57     22     19      8    11      -      2
14d. Do you or does anyone in your house own a gun?
                   Yes    No    No opinion
4/25/99 Teen       47     52         1 
4/25/99 Parent     52     48         -

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