Poll results: Arm Colorado teachers, don’t expel sexting students — and legal pot is good

In Colorado, a state bloodied by mass shootings, a majority of voters feel teachers and school officials should be able to arm themselves on school grounds, according to recent results from a Quinnipiac University poll.

The results were divided along party lines, with 81 percent of Republicans supporting the idea of educators and administrators packing in the classroom, and 75 percent of Democrats opposing it. Fifty-six percent of independents are cool with guns in school. The gender breakdown looks like this: Sixty percent of men support arming teachers; 51 percent of women do.

Another issue on the minds of voters these days: sexting.

Earlier this month the southern Colorado town of Cañon City made national news after an investigation at a high school found hundreds of students had potentially been sharing naked photos of themselves on smart phones. Last week an Associated Press story published in newspapers throughout the state told of how old laws were clashing with new technology in the high-profile case.

What do voters think? Forty-two percent think student sexting is a “very serious” problem here. Sixty-two percent say students caught doing it shouldn’t be expelled with “strong opposition to expelling sexters among all party, gender, education and age groups.” Seventy percent said sexters should not face criminal charges.

“A lenient view on a troubling phenomenon,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Coloradans may think sexting by young people is a serious problem, but most voters say booting them from school is too severe a punishment and prosecuting them is out of the question.”

On the topic of climate change, 60 percent of Coloradans say it concerns them, the poll found. A majority feel the United States should do more to combat a changing climate than the state specifically— and even more think other countries should do more than us.

Of course, no Colorado poll would be complete without the cannabis question. So where are we on weed? More than half of Coloradans believe legalizing recreational marijuana has been good for the state.

Two years after the great Colorado pot experiment, slightly more than half of voters say it has been good for Colorado (53 percent), while 39 percent feel the opposite. The gender gap is wide. Sixty percent of men are on the ‘yes’ side, while only 45 percent of women agree.

“A smoking hot issue when first proposed, legalized marijuana sales seem to be on a mellow ride toward acceptance,” Malloy said. “Women are divided. Men are flat out loving it.”

The Quinnipiac University was in the field from November 11th to the 15th and live interviewers surveyed 1,262 Colorado voters on land lines and cell phones. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.