Parsing out the comments in the WINK News back-to-school survey

Reporter: Annette Montgomery Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Back-to-school. (Credit: CBS News)
Back-to-school. (Credit: CBS News)

Three weeks into the new school year is enough time for teachers and parents and students to have a feel for how things are going.

Hundres of you participated in our WINK News back-to-school survey.

More than 750 teachers, parents and students answered the survey and responded on questions from mental health to COVID, to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law to whether the teacher and bus driver shortages are slowing down progress in the classroom.

But the clear priority for those who took part in the survey is safety and security. Take a look at some of the claim from teachers and parents, which have not been verified by WINK News.

Here are some notable comments from parents and guardians concerned about school safety:

Gates open

It’s like the wild Wild West at the high school. Too many kids not enough teachers and everyone carries their backpacks, no lockers. We are literally inviting a kids to carry a weapon.

My daughter’s bus always stalls in the middle of the main roads because the buses are always late picking up young children from their bus stops putting them at risk before they even reach the schools.

School administration has been less than transparent about issues going on (in) the school. We find out more by social media or the news when the last major incident happened. The school worries more about numbers and it’s starting to reflect in the teacher turnover and daily disruptions.

There is no discipline at Punta Gorda Middle. Students curse teachers, punch the school resource officer, nothing happens. Kids are given candy and verbal warnings to not be violent. It’s a joke. Fire the admin and replace with someone effective.

The amount of physical fights at East Lee is scary.

The SROs are not trained in district policies.


Citizens do not need to bear arms. How many more Nicholas Cruz “broken brains” are there due to drugs? To shoot teachers & children?

Lax Florida gun laws


Need armed/trained volunteer teachers

Why are there not metal detectors? We don’t need armed teachers. Fort Myers Middle School is lacking teachers and support personnel. This concerns me. The classes are often combined and even testing was messed up due to shortages this week.

I have no control over other peoples actions. School has a bullying problem. Addressed it numerous times, including to the district directly. Teachers should be carrying firearms in the classroom for safety.

My child. Somehow went unnoticed (he’s 6 and in kindergarten) and walked out the doors during school house and was found in the parking lot by another parent.

Lee School District is more worried about woke ideology and liberal indoctrination than the safety of our children. General Incompetence of the School Board and Staff worries me greatly!

Last year there was an incident at my child’s school and we were notified of it, but that was it nothing further. Nobody said what procedures would be taken to protect them. At the open house we asked again about it and what steps they were taking to ensure safety and they said nothing we just lock our doors.

I’m worried more about what is being withheld based on the new mandates. My kid is no longer being exposed to a diversity of ideas. Also, both of my kids have gotten sick already (not COVID).

Traffics at Tice and country club

Police in schools is not a solution. Look at Uvalde.

I believe the schools need more resource officers

I feel that our School Board cares more about CRT and Common Core than doing what is right for children. Our school board has been so wrong for so long, I have no faith that they will keep my child safe and a hope that by next year I can get them out of Public Schools.

LGBT trying to add this bad things to kids head, and asking support. It’s very bad to society.

Any protection they have from an armed person has been taken away. Baker don’t allow students to have access to their bags or phone during class. They have to keep them in a pile by the front of the room, near the door. 100% unsafe. All these kids who have $300 bullet resistant bags can’t use them. They are cramming 600 kids in the cafeteria each lunch, shoulder to shoulder. If an intruder goes to a lunch room, we will have a mass event no one has seen before. It’s scary.

Lack of federal gun control regulations

Unsafe school

School shootings are so prevalent in the US and no steps are being taken to reduce these instances/tighten up gun laws.

Guns seem to be more important than our children’s lives.

One police officer at school.

With the large amount of school shootings in the United States, I feel that schools need to readdress the security system currently implemented.

There was a literal threat against Ida Baker and it gets blown off and the students were still expected to be at school.

The security is awful, and I do not believe that my child is safe at their school.

There are not enough officers on grounds to respond to a threat and the school should be locked with metal detectors upon entry like schools up north have.

I would like to say this! My child attends Ida Baker. I waited to do this survey until she came home from school today. After finding out personally from her what safety measures the school took. Well here is how it was, there were NO extra police presence at the school other than the normal resource officers. It was teacher standing in the hallway. The students were told to go into the auditorium and wait, well talk about sitting ducks in 1 big room. Credible threat or not. This is in no way to keep my child and everyone else safe. The child That made the threat was at school today, I’m assuming there will be no repercussions for this student. There was absolutely no measures taken by Ida Baker school to make sure these students were safe. No extra police presence seen inside or out. Only outside driving by the school. Tell me how this keeps my child safe! This is a serious situation that as far as I am concerned, Ida Baker administrators failed at miserably. How would They have explained this should something happened!!! We’re sorry we put everyone in one room. Then made them sit there before going to class. Where is the safety in that thought. I am dismayed and utterly perplexed on how by doing this they thought it was a smart thing to do. They are not protecting children, they are leading them into an auditorium with multiple entrances including from outside. Who thought this was smart!!!??? I am sure that more than one teacher at that school was concerned for their safety as well. No safety at school here.

There are not enough safety measures in place!

Here are some notable comments from teachers concerned about school safety:

The pod doors do NOT lock!

No discipline. Teachers can’t discipline the unruly students.

Recent data has shown that SROs do little to nothing to stop school shooters; it’s actually quite the opposite. According to the ACLU, schools with SROs saw higher mortality rates in school shootings than schools who did not have an SRO on campus because the shooter anticipated law enforcement and set out to kill as many as they could, as quickly as possible. Also in the ACLU study was the finding that of the more than 190 school shootings that occurred on campuses with SROs between during a five-year period, only two were stopped by an SRO. In addition, schools with SROs see significantly higher arrest rates of their students.

Students and their parents are frustrated and they do not seem to have the skills to calm down and put things in perspective to make it better. Students want work easy and below level and parents want to see only good grades even if the child doesn’t earn them. Parents are over the top angry about bussing delays.

Drills are not realistic and only minimally prepare you.

School deputy doesn’t do his job. Just flirts with the front office staff.

Simple things can be added to secure schools. They have not installed proper measures to have bay doors in their auto programs close in the event of an emergency. District has the policy that teachers and students have to close the doors. I have also heard that the construction they performed in the auto shop was done without permits, or any professional engineers or contractors. I fear students are going to get hurt due to faulty construction work.

Toxic atmosphere the Governor and legislative branches have made schools a political battle field.

Kids out of control. Limited hallway monitoring.

We are only making the mental health crisis worse with all these ridiculous new laws.

We have trainings and procedures to react to a shooter, but until we have better gun control I won’t feel safe.

Guns and threats

Here are some notable comments from students concerned about school safety:

Because I go to Ida Baker High School and the way they’re treating this situation is crap. I have emailed many people and all they can do is bring like 2 more cops like wow that does so much.

There are way too many students in classes, 38-40 in each class.

While many parents and teachers commented on how they feel unsafe, there were a few still who said they felt schools were relatively safe.

Here are some notable comments from parents and guardians who feel schools are safe:

Already heard threats of violence from another student.

Overall the kids are safe but I don’t understand why there are no lockers where kids can keep their backpacks in.

I’ve never had anything bad to say about the school every time I needed help for my boys they were happy to help.

I think the police have it together here. They have a plan in the event of an emergency.

You just never know. I think teachers and admin are doing everything they can do. It is just always out there.

School preparation is great but as situations are presented we might need to improve.

I’m not sure anyone could be completely prepared for an active shooter. That probably worries me more than anything else. Bullying will never change. Adults Bully each other and teach it to their children.

CCSO and CCPS constantly implement steps to keep our kids safe. They need more resources to do that.

Trusted staff and resource officer always highly visible.

Trust in Sheriff.

There is little else the School District could do to make schools safer.

The school does a pretty good job at Keeping the front doors locked, and there is a police officer always there.

School takes all precautions in keeping the school locked down and safe. Gates are kept locked, cannot enter office without ID, exterior classes are locked.

School is secure with safety officer.

The tall fence. The SRO. The office sign out and sign in system all help me feel safe.

Armed officers, no one is allowed in building without clearance.

LCSO is rocking it with security in our schools.

School is good, but the car pickup line is very dangerous due to very aggressive driving by parents picking up their children.

Overall, I think the district and sheriff’s department work well to provide as safe an environment as possible.

They won’t event let parents in, so I imagine it is hard for others as well.

GVMS appears very diligent about school access and campus security is impressive.

Engaged Principal, SRO and staff in the safety of our Charter School students.

SRO, and gates.

Always at least one resource office on campus until the last kid leaves, during arrival and dismissal there is usually more patrolling the surrounding areas.

I was told by my child that all classroom doors automatically lock from the outside, and the front of the school is secured as well.

Physical safety is fine at the school.

LCSO provides competent representation.Only one point of entry, resource officer always present, tight protocol in office.

Excellent parent-teacher communication.

Secure entry is significantly stronger than previous school district.

Locked doors, security officers

I feel that they are safe, but I believe that teachers should have the right to carry guns. I was a teacher and in our training they told me to arm the classroom with staples and books. If the shooter came into my second story room, should tell the kids to jump out of the window and maybe break a leg, arm, or ribs.

The district, Sarasota has strong safety measures in place and I’ve talked to my kids about being smart in safety.

He’s full time virtual. The school admin building seems safe.

Each school my child has attended has a resource officer and locked doors.

My children go to a charter school that employs private guardians with open carry firearms.

Presence of resource officer daily and attentive staff.

Lots of safety personnel and ex cops.

Single point of entry, cameras, trained staff, police presence.

My granddaughter forgot to take her backpack one morning so I brought it to her school. When I drove up to the front door a gentleman met me at the curb and took her backpack. I thought this was a very good idea because this kept people out of the school and it also allowed him to look inside the bag outside in case there was anything harmful to the students in it.

There seems to be limited entrance/access into the school, there’s 1 officer present (granted I’ve no idea what they do through the day), and it is located next to a fire dept.

Security teams are in place.

Gate stays locked & you have to show ID to get in gate & school. Plus a vigilant resource officer.

I believe the district and sheriff’s office is doing what they can, but no one can prevent tragedies. Access to firearms and an increase in anger has me on edge most days.

I don’t have any concerns about their physical safety, it’s more the attitudes of the “conservative” staff who are singling out children to be bullied by their peers and even the administration.

No one can be 100% sure of our children’s safety. If a gunman want’s to hurt someone there will be some damage.

Every time I have to pick up my son from school.,, the doors have been locked so I feel it’s safe from outsiders. As far as a child showing up with a weapon it’s still a risk but I’m hopeful that someone will speak up and let someone know.

Safe neighborhood, safe neighbors, safe students. Only concern would be safety from police enforcement now included in schools.

Here are some notable comments from teachers who do feel safe:

Clear back packs for all students and metal detectors.

My school’s deputy is very aware and works hard to protect us.

Centric badges.

Every door is locked, must provide ID to enter, security is very visible.

Schools are secured, staff is well trained and SROs do a great job at my school.

Safe from outside danger not what he is being taught.

Multiple safeguards are in place and staff take it seriously.

All exterior doors are now locked on open campuses.

Great officers.

Each staff member has ability to signal problems in real time. No need to call office for help.

Collier County has a sheriff at every school, one entry point, trained school staff on safety procedures, and better prepared this year with responsibilities.

We prepare well, as teachers, and I feel safe in my school. I know my students and I would safer, however, if more were done at the prevention-level, rather than after the fact.

District doing a lot for safety.

I feel he is safe now but there’s always a concern for the future.

Great SROs. They patrol all the time.

Centigix, Cape Coral PD working with resource officers in schools. Limited adults that aren’t staff in the building is the main reason. Single point of entry and so much more.

Procedures are in placed and practiced regularly. Doors to the buildings and classrooms are always locked. The campus has one entry point.

Gated, locked campus plus a new security monitor position.

Lots of safety protocol in place.

Marco Island Academy has a state of the art security system.

Highly visible SRO, locked doors & gates.

Security cameras installed everywhere on campus, can only get into the campus with a photo ID, can only get into school buildings with a staff badge for door scanners, and SRO on campus.

Document: See the full responses to the back-to-school survey

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