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After the Uvalde shooting, even parents can't enter Buffalo schools without notice

Community members gather May 21 to support each other near the Tops market that was targeted in a racist mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y.
BUFFALO, NY - MAY 21: Community members of Cold Spring gather to support each other near the Tops market on Jefferson Ave on May 21, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. A week has passed since a white supremacist massacred 10 people in a racially motivated, targeted mass shooting. (Photo by Mustafa Hussain/Getty Images)

After a mass shooting in their hometown and a second at a Texas elementary school, the school district in Buffalo, N.Y., is barring all unannounced visitors from its buildings, including students' parents.

"Any person who wishes to enter a school MUST call ahead and obtain prior approval to enter the building," Buffalo Public Schools announced on Wednesday. "This includes parents, caregivers, siblings, and vendors; NO EXCEPTIONS will be made."

All school doors will remain locked during the school day, the district announced, and there will be an increased security presence at schools, including Buffalo Police Department officers.

"There are camera monitors at the front entrance of each of our school sites. If reporting for a scheduled meeting, ALL visitors will need to announce their name and the name of their child to be buzzed into the school," the district said. "Upon entry, visitors may be subjected to a wanding and/ or a search process for additional safety measures."

WBFO's Emyle Watkins reports that the policies also will be in place for all graduation ceremonies and other events marking the end of the school year.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Cory Turner noted there has been a lot of movement in recent years toward "hardening" schools and increasing security, but that research suggests it's not the best approach. Instead, experts recommend anti-bullying measures, providing ways to anonymously report concerning behavior, and adopting a threat assessment model.

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