The top three worries of kids and their parents as they head to school each morning in Mankato and across Minnesota are bullying, a possible school shooting, and pressure to do things they don’t want to.
A survey by ‘You.Gov,’ shows kids between ages six and 17 now have greater concerns about a school shooting than the classic anxiety of “fitting in.” Bharti Wahi with Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota said the findings suggest the recent wave of shootings has cemented mass violence as an everyday concern among families. “Thirty-five percent of children and 35 percent of parents in the 12 states that made up the Midwest worried about shootings happening in school,” he explained, “Which was really consistent with the national trend and the data we got across the country.”
The survey included 5,500 children and parents. Nearly 80-percent of parents and 73-percent of students polled support the addition of police officers, including School Resource Officers in schools, but are not in favor of arming teachers.
Wahi wadded that the school-shooting fears are consistent across racial, ethnic and income groups. Fifty-nine percent of children overall, and only 42-percent of black children, say they feel safe at school. He said, “I think that you hear, over and over, a lot of kids raising these concerns and then, a lot of adults fearful of taking any real action.”
The survey also shows that 36-percent of parents and 20-percent of kids also worry that the cost of college will be out of reach. Wahi said college affordability ranked fourth among parents’ top concerns and, “I think it’s the ability to go at all – and I think parents are extremely nervous about their ability to support their child in that effort at all, which was not the case when I was younger.”
Minnesota had nearly 20 percent more undergraduates in college in 2010 than in 2016.