About 1 in 4 U.S. teachers say their school went into 'gun-related lockdown' last school year

About 1 in 4 U.S. teachers said their school went into a “gun-related lockdown” during the 2022-23 school year, according to new findings from the Pew Research Center.

The Pew Research Center surveyed about 2,500 teachers who are nationally representative of U.S. K-12 public school teachers on many different topics, including lockdowns prompted by guns, Associate Director Juliana Horowitz told NBC News.

"We do know from the conversations that we had leading up to developing the survey that in speaking about the challenges and concerns that they have in their day-to-day job as a teacher, this topic about being concerned about the possibility of a school shooting came up fairly frequently," Horowitz said. "And so that's one of the reasons that we thought it'd be important to put this topic on the survey to get a nationally representative read on how teachers are feeling on this."

The teachers told the research center they experienced lockdowns “because of a gun or suspicion of a gun at their school,” with around 15% saying it happened once during the year and 8% saying it happened more than once.

“High school teachers are most likely to report experiencing these lockdowns: 34% say their school went on at least one gun-related lockdown in the last school year,” according to the research center. “This compares with 22% of middle school teachers and 16% of elementary school teachers.”

In 2023, 15 people were killed and nine were injured by gunfire in eight school shootings, while in 2022, 29 people were killed and 29 were injured by gunfire in seven school shootings, according to NBC News’ school shooting tracker.

Urban school teachers (31%) were more likely to say their school had a lockdown that was gun-related than teachers at rural schools (20%) and suburban schools (19%), according to Pew.

Horowitz said while there are some differences across teachers who work in different types of schools and areas, a majority of teachers across the board say that they have at least some concern that a shooting can happen at their school.

About 59% of K-12 public school teachers said they were “at least somewhat worried” about a shooting happening at their school, with 18% saying they were “extremely or very worried,” the organization said. Around 31% of teachers were “not too worried” about school shootings, and 7% were “not at all worried.”

Almost 40% of teachers surveyed by the Pew Research Center said their school had done a fair or poor job preparing them to deal with a potential active shooter, while 30% said their schools did an excellent or very good job.

Most of the teachers (69%) said that “improving mental health screening and treatment” would be effective in preventing school shootings, while 13% said teachers and administrators carrying guns in school would be effective. Around 49% said having armed security in schools would be a big help, and 33% said the same about metal detectors.

Teachers’ political views came into play when they were asked about what could be done to prevent school shootings, with 69% of Republican-leaning teachers saying that having armed security in school would be helpful, as opposed to 37% of Democratic-leaning teachers. Having metal detectors in schools received support from 43% of Republican-leaning teachers, compared to 27% of Democratic-leaning teachers. Meanwhile, allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns in school received 28% Republican-leaning support and 3% Democratic-leaning support.

Pew conducted similar research among parents with K-12 age children in 2022, where it was determined 32% were "extremely or very worried" about a shooting happening at their child's school, while 37% were "somewhat worried." Similarly to the teachers, 63% of surveyed parents also said "improving mental health screening and treatment" would be very effective at preventing school shootings.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com