Florida Shooting Renews Safety Concerns at New England Schools

A mass shooting at a Florida high school on Wednesday has once again renewed safety concerns for police and school administrators across the country.

At Wilmington High School in Massachusetts, officials say security and safety are something they work on all the time.

There are no metal detectors in the building but there are security cameras and people must be buzzed into the building.

The school district runs intruder drills as well, helping students and staff decide whether they should shelter in place or flee.

"Staff and students make decisions on if there’s an intruder on one side of the building and you’re on this side, maybe the best and safest course to take is to flee," said Wilmington Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggiero.

Mass shootings like Wednesday's is something school districts must sadly grapple with.

"It’s changing how we protect our students," said M.J. Byrnes, a Wilmington school board member. "It’s changing how we’re teaching our students, it’s forcing our students... to be more adult than they need to be at their age."

In Newton, Massachusetts, police say drills are critical to students' safety. But what’s also key is that in most school shootings someone knew something and people need to be encouraged to come forward.

"What each school needs is a culture where students are comfortable telling someone," said Newton Police Lt. Bruce Apotheker.

Authorities in Parkland, Florida say a former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets.

The shooter, who was equipped with a gas mask and smoke grenades, set off a fire alarm to draw students out of classrooms shortly before the day ended at one of the state's largest schools, officials said.

The 19-year-old suspect's motive remains unclear but authorities say he had been kicked out of the school.

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