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    Mass. parents check on their children in wake of shooting

    School districts around suburban Boston are reassuring frantic parents that they have appropriate safety measures in place after a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school left 27 dead, most of them children.

    In Newton, Superintendent David Fleishman sent a short message to parents letting them know that staff will be available for support on Monday if students want to talk about the shooting.

    “I am calling to let you know that we are keeping your children safe at school,” Fleishman told parents in the message.


    In Framingham, Superintendent Stacy L. Scott said he asked all his principals to send parents a note reminding them of the district’s safety protocols.

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    The town has been updating its school security for the past year, installing cameras and automated doors to the buildings. Visitors and parents at all the schools now have to be buzzed in during the school day, Scott said.

    “It’s been an ongoing concern,” Scott said. “From Columbine, up to present, we understand that unpredictable things happen. We have to be conscientious about keeping children safe.”

    In Weston, Superintendent Cheryl Maloney said that she spoke to the police chief Friday and reviewed the district’s security policy. She also reminded principals about the lockdown procedures, Maloney said.

    In Boston, worried parents checked on their children.


    Sonia Amado, 33, of Roxbury, who has a nine-year-old daughter at an elementary school, said she heard about it when a co-worker showed her the news on the computer.

    “The first thing that went though my mind is what if it was my daughter.’’ Amado said.

    She said she plans to talk to her daughter about the shootings, because it would be better to hear from her than from the media or friends.

    “I know she is going to be worried about it and ask a bunch of questions (about) if she’s safe,’’ Amado said.

    At Pope John Paul II Academy, parent Kurt Knepshield, 35, said he had been anxious to see his daughter all day.


    He said he will check with school administrators to make sure security cameras and locked doors are up to date, and also tell daughter to be aware at school.

    “I definitely want to go over the fact that she pays attention to what she needs to do,’’ Knepshield said Friday afternoon.

    On Twitter, parents around the region told their stories of sympathy for parents in Connecticut and relief that their own children were safe.

    “Just picked my daughter up @ school. I gave her a few more hugs & kisses. I cannot fathom what these parents r going through.’’

    “I feel like I need to run down and get my daughter home from school.’’

    “I think a lot of parents want to drive to their children’s elementary school right about now and take them home and hug them, I do.’’

    The shooting happens as school officials in Canton and other area communities are considering a controversial new security protocol that teaches staff and students to active­ly resist an armed intruder.