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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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Top Concerns for MN Kids, Parents: School Shootings and Bullying

Despite survey results that fear of a school shooting is the top concern for school-aged students and parents, Minnesota lawmakers passed no new gun-control legislation in 2018. (Tim Nelson for mpr.org)
Despite survey results that fear of a school shooting is the top concern for school-aged students and parents, Minnesota lawmakers passed no new gun-control legislation in 2018. (Tim Nelson for mpr.org)
October 17, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The top three worries of Minnesota kids and their parents as they head to school each morning are bullying, a possible school shooting, and pressure to do things they don't want to.

The list of top concerns, part of a survey by You.Gov, showed that kids between ages 6 and 17 now have greater concerns about a school shooting than the classic anxiety of "fitting in."

Bharti Wahi, executive director of the Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota, said the findings suggest that 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," she said, "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 said 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, said they feel safe at school.

"I think that you hear, over and over, a lot of kids raising these concerns," she said, "and then, a lot of adults fearful of taking any real action."

As financial inequity among families rises in the United States, 36 percent of parents and 20 percent of kids in the survey said they also worry that the cost of college will be out of reach. Wahi said college affordability ranked fourth among parents' top concerns.

"I think it's the ability to go at all," she said, "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.

The report is online at childrensdefense.org.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - MN