Police are reviewing Newton’s school safety protocols to ensure that they are updated, but the issue of locked buildings and buzzers and cameras at the doors will have to be discussed as a community, Fleishman said.
“After there’s an immediate tragedy, there’s a desire to do something quickly,” he said. “But we’re going to be thoughtful and vigilant. I think people need to be aware of the tradeoffs. . . . There are human tradeoffs, cultural tradeoffs, financial tradeoffs.”
The question of whether Newton schools should have additional security or be locked sparked a robust debate this past weekend on the city’s parent listserve.
Norton said that although parents may be used to walking into school whenever they want to, if experts believe that locked doors are safer, parents will adjust. “There was a culture of not taking your shoes off at the airport; now there is,” she said.
Michelle Ciurea, a parent of a seventh- and an 11th-grader in Newton schools, said in an e-mail that she has wrestled with the balance between safety and anxiety.
She is not convinced that some of these additional measures would keep students completely safe and be worth the cost of creating a fortress out of a school. Mass shootings at schools are still rare, she said.
“In the name of pragmatism and safety, I’ll bow down in the end, I guess,” Ciurea said. “But I need stronger evidence that bowing down has brought me a real and significant improvement in safety, not merely a feel-good illusion of it.”
James Vaznis and Katheleen Conti of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Jessica Bartlett and Brock Parker contributed to this report. Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at email@example.com.