Posting police officers in hallways would help curb school violence, two out of three adults said in an Associated Press poll taken in late August. But most Americans see dangerous acts as events that happen elsewhere, with more than 80 percent saying they think schools in their own communities are safe.

“I like the idea of a human being, someone the kids could go to” if there was trouble, said Mary Beth Corvati, a mother of two children in Harford County, Md., and one of 1,016 surveyed in the poll conducted by ICR of Media, Pa.

While 65 percent said they thought stationing officers in schools would reduce violence, Americans were less certain that metal detectors would help. Fifty percent said they would help, 47 percent said they would not.

“I would like for my children to view a police officer as someone who could help preserve their safety, be a role model—someone they could look up to,” said Mrs. Corvati. “I don’t think my children could look up to a metal detector.”

Blacks were more likely than whites—30 percent to 10 percent—to say schools in their community were either “not too safe” or “not safe at all.” But despite recent high-profile cases of violence in schools, only 14 percent of Americans in general think their schools are not safe.