Feb 13, 2024 - News

Poll: Gun violence a top concern for many Tennessee parents

Illustration of a row of pencils getting shorter with a bullet at the end.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Two-thirds of Tennessee parents say they have talked to their children about gun violence at school, according to a new edition of the Vanderbilt Child Health Poll.

  • About one in five parents surveyed said they have considered homeschooling or changing schools due to safety worries.

Why it matters: The poll shows that school safety and gun violence remain a top concern for Tennessee families nearly a year after three 9-year-old students and three employees were killed in The Covenant School shooting.

  • Most parents don't believe schools have gotten any safer in the last year, the poll found.
  • Nearly 40% of parents reported that their children were worried about school shootings.

Yes, but: Despite those factors, about 68% of parents said they didn't follow the special legislative session called to address public safety after the Covenant shooting.

The big picture: Parents statewide were asked to select their top concerns. The results center on education and children's well-being.

  1. Education and school quality (43%)
  2. Bullying, including cyberbullying (39%)
  3. Mental health and suicide (37%)
  4. School gun violence (32%)
  5. Drug and alcohol use (23%)

Of note: The poll surveyed 1,025 Tennessee parents with children under 18 from Oct. 25-Nov. 22, 2023. The margin of error varies for each question.


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