BOSTON - Cassie Walton has been practicing active shooter training with her five-year-old son. The Oklahoma mom posted the now viral video on social media just days before he was set to start kindergarten.
"He wasn't scared," Cassie told WBZ-TV's I-Team. "I feel like you can never be too prepared and I feel like sometimes, schools don't prepare enough, or if at all."
The I-Team has learned active shooter training is not required for Massachusetts schools. Districts do need to have an emergency plan, but they don't need to file it with the state. Some parents we spoke to had no idea the training was not required for schools.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association supports training, but not with students.
"Active shooter training that involves students is traumatic and unnecessary," MTA president Max Page told WBZ. "It reinforces a culture of fear and creates a false sense of security."
Preparing for the worst, most police departments do train in schools when they are empty. Recently, on the same day as the Uvalde school shooting, Franklin Police posted photos of their officers training in an old charter school.
"It's one of those things, you hope you're never going to have to use it," said Franklin Police Chief Thomas Lynch. "God forbid something was to happen, we'd be able to respond, and not only protect ourselves but protect the citizens of the town."
Police say any type of security breach is cause for concern. In May, a former student got inside Masconomet Regional High School through an open door. He was later charged with trespassing.
Looking to prevent any type of incident, Attleboro built its new high school with bulletproof doors, fewer entrances and a shooter detection system. Mayor Paul Heroux told WBZ, "we want to have the safest school possible."
For parents like Cassie, whose son has a bullet resistant shield in his backpack, that means teaching her son what to do if an intruder gets in the school.
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