Facts About Armed Guards in School (Including Statistics)

The state of security today raises a legitimate concern over maintaining school safety to promote a healthier learning environment for students. Schools use various methods to ensure the safety and security of their students, employees, and visitors.

While some schools use integrated modern technology to deter violence and counter unnecessary situations, others also have one or more armed officers on campus.

Here are some facts about armed guards in schools.

Why Do Schools Need Armed Security Guards?

The presence of an armed officer in and around school buildings substitutes for maintaining order and preventing any mishap that may occur on school grounds.

However, not all schools consider recruiting armed security staff but may use security systems coupled with general security officers stationed at the premises.

Numbers are a great way to analyze the existing situation of armed officers within educational facilities.

What’s the Difference Between Security Staff and Armed Guards?

Security staff in school usually do not carry firearms. They have more of a managerial duty, such as overall safety operations and supervising security training.

They can view security cameras, conduct security measures, and have controlling access in locked and monitored doors and loading docks but don’t have arrest authority.

However, security staff routinely carrying firearms are known as armed guards or school resource officers. An armed guard has specialized training requirements, education, and experience in handling gun violence.

They prioritize the safety and security of the school, students, school organizations, and staff like school psychologists and faculty, especially when there is an active shooter on school grounds.

facts about armed guards in schools

Check These Facts About Armed Guards in Schools

How many schools have security staff and armed officers in their buildings?

According to statistics from 2013 to 2014, 43% of all public schools had one or more security staff present in their school buildings. This number increased to 56.5% in the period from 2015 to 2016.

As for armed guards present in school or security staff routinely carrying firearms, statistics show that 28.0% of schools had armed security guards from 2009 to 2010.

Due to modern technology being very reliable for safety and security purposes, the percentage of public schools with armed officers has decreased from 34.1% and 30.7% from 2007 to 2008 and 2005 to 2006, respectively.

What percentage of primary schools have one or more security staff?

Based on research conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics from 2015 to 2016, facts about armed guards in schools statistics show that a total of 45.4% of primary schools had at least one or more security officers present on site due to an increase in school shooting and compromise on school safety.

It shows an increase in the presence of guards in primary schools from 2013 to 2014, which was at 28.6%. Data collected from earlier years shows numbers of 27.7% (2009 to 2010), 33.1% (2007 to 2008), and 26.2% (2005 to 2006.)

What percentage of primary schools have security guards who routinely carry a firearm?

According to research, statistics from 2009 to 2010 show that 12.5% of primary schools had security staff or a security guard routinely carrying a firearm for the safety and security of schools.

However, due to gun violence, this percentage of public schools decreased from 20.1% and 15.7% from 2007 to 2008 and 2006 to 2007, respectively.

What percentage of middle schools have one or more security staff?

Studies show that from 2015 to 2016, 73.4% of middle schools had at least one or more security staff present on school grounds to keep the students and schools safer. This number has significantly increased from previous school years, and the data is shown below:

YearPercent of Middle Schools with One or More Security Staff
2005 to 200663.7%
2007 to 200865.5%
2009 to 201066.4%
2013 to 201463.3%

What percentage of security staff in middle schools routinely carry a firearm?

Middle schools have reported a comparatively higher percentage of armed officers routinely carrying a firearm than that of primary schools.

Facts about armed guards in schools statistics show that from 2009 to 2010, 51.0% of middle schools had one or more armed officers routinely carrying a firearm.

It is compared to the previous two years, where the percentages were 54.2% in the 2007 to 2008 school year and 51.8% in the 2005 to 2006 school year.

facts about armed guards in schools

What percentage of high schools have one or more security staff?

High schools also showed similar security measures to prioritize the safety of their employees, students, and visitors.

From 2015 to 2016, 71.3% of high schools had one or more security officers present on campus, a big jump from 64.1% in the 2013 to 2014 school year.

In this context, elementary schools and high schools (depending on school characteristics) reportedly have the highest percentage of security personnel compared to middle and primary schools to maintain the safety of the students inside their schools. Data for earlier years is shown below:

YearPercent of High Schools with One or More Security Staff
2005 to 200662.9%
2007 to 200865.5%
2009 to 201062.8%

What percentage of high schools have security guards who routinely carry a firearm?

Based on the statistics for the year 2009-10, 50.1% of the high schools reported having at least one or more armed officers routinely carrying a firearm.

However, the statistics show a decrease in the percentage of armed officers carrying a firearm than the year before.

In the school year 2007-08, 54.9% of the high schools reported having armed officers routinely carrying a firearm. The percentage figure was 51.8% from 2005 to 2006.

What are the statistics of armed guards in schools based on an enrollment size of 1,000 or more students?

For schools with an enrollment of 1,000 or more students, the percentage of schools with armed officers is as follows: 74.6% (2009 to 2010,) 73.5% (2007 to 2008), and 70.3% (2005 to 2006.) These data show a steady incline for the presence of armed security officers in these schools.

In comparison, the percentages for schools with between 300 and 1,000 students enrolled are roughly half the data stated above, which shows that higher enrollment is proportional to the presence of armed security officers.

How many schools in cities have armed officers compared to towns?

The data collected on percentages for elementary schools in various locales shows that a higher percentage of schools in cities have armed officers than schools in towns.

To give some numbers to this context, 27.6% of schools in cities reportedly had security staff carrying firearms (2009 to 2010.) It compares to 33.1% (2007 to 2008) and 30.5% (2005 to 2006.) Statistics for schools located in towns for the same years are 31.6%, 45.0%, and 38.1%, respectively.

How many schools in the rural areas have armed officers?

The percentages of rural schools that have armed guards are 25.3% (2009 to 2010), 30.5% (2007 to 2008) and 27.1% (2005 to 2006). These statistics indicate a much lower percentage compared to schools in cities.

facts about armed guards in schools

What percentage of all public schools have armed law enforcement officers?

Many public schools also tend to deploy sworn law enforcement officers who routinely carry a firearm. Statistics from 2015 to 2016 show that 42.9% of all public schools reportedly have armed law enforcement officers.

The breakdown for the same year for percentages of primary, middle, and high schools is shown in the table below.

Public Schools by LevelPercent of Schools with Armed Law Enforcement Officers
Primary Schools30.6%
Middle Schools60.0%
High Schools60.7%

What percentage of schools present in rural areas have one or more security staff and sworn law enforcement officers?

The five-year data shows a gradual increase from 2005 to 2014 and a significant rise from 2014 to 2015. Results from 2005 to 2006 show that 33.8% of schools in rural areas have one or more security staff as part of security measures in a school district.

It is followed by 36.0% from 2007 to 2008, 35.2% from 2009 to 2010, 35.5% from 2013 to 2014, and 46.7% in 2015 to 2016.

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