BOSTON (CBS) – Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, school districts all over the country have made emergency plans. Crisis planning has been the law in Massachusetts since 2000.

But what do schools do in a crisis? School officials and parents WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton spoke with say Newtown, Connecticut’s tragic school shooting raises a lot of questions about school safety precautions here in Massachusetts.

Boston Public School Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson says it’s important for parents, faculty and safety officials to all work together to protect the children.

There was a strong police presence at the Warren-Prescott elementary school in Charlestown as Dr. Johnson spent the afternoon assuring parents and teachers their students are safe.

“People who want to get into our schools have to buzz to get in,” says Dr. Johnson. “And all of our middle and high schools of course we have school police and in our high schools we do have metal detectors.”

RELATED: Canton Teaching Students To Fight Back

The law requiring schools to have an emergency plan means schools must:

  • Review and update those plans every year
  • Schools must establish a crisis response team
  • Maintain an entrance and exit plan

Parents picking up their kids Friday were deeply concerned but feel their school is safe.

Dr. Johnson also encouraged all parents Friday to go home and speak to their children about school safety and assure to them that they are safe.

RELATED: How To Talk To Kids About The Shooting

On Monday, many schools across the state will have psychiatrists on hand to counsel and answer any questions students may have in regards to this tragedy.


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