WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It has been six months since 26 students and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
As the nation marked the day with ceremony, teachers in western Massachusetts say their schools will never be the same.
"You look at our little kids in first and second grade and say this could happen here. It's a horrible thought but we're ready, we're doing a lot of things," said Fausey Elementary School Reading Specialist, Tim Harty.
Nowadays, it's not unusual when you walk into a school in western Massachusetts to be greeted by a locked door and a buzzing system.
Like many schools in western Mass., Fausey Elementary School in West Springfield keeps a close eye on those who walk through their doors. The security equipment is only part of it.
West Springfield Superintendent Russell Johnston says the Newtown tragedy brought the schools closer with its local police department.
"We've arranged it with the officers if they need to fill out paperwork or complete tasks that they can do in their cruisers, they're doing that in front of our buildings, that's meant to mean that they can show up at random times and an external threat might not know when the police would be in the schools," said Superintendent Johnston.
Most schools responded to the tragedy by stepping up security, but reading specialist Tim Harty says it's not just security that's changed, it's their peace of mind.
"It's always difficult. Years ago, you never worried about this stuff happening, but especially since Newtown, how it hits so close to home and it's an elementary school," Harty added.
West Springfield's Superintendent says they're not finished yet. After school ends this year they want to put their teachers through additional training so they are better prepared for any intruder.