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ROCKFORD, Mich.(WZZM) -- Whenever a school shooting occurs, one of the first questions that comes up is, "how did the gunman get in?"

The shooting massacre at a Connecticut elementary school was on the forefront of many parents minds as they picked up their own children at Covell Elementary in Grand Rapids Friday afternoon.

"It was just aselfless, cowardly act that people could do that to innocent children and then take their own life afterwards," said Peter Eaton, whosedaughter attends Covell.

When asked if he felt if his child's school was safe enough, Eaton said yes.

"I can't get into the school unless I ring myself in," he said. "They're (school staff) on camera, and they can usually see you. And I know the secretary very well so as soon as I walk up to the front door and push the button, she opens it for me, because she knows it's me."

This is the case for all of Grand Rapids Public Schools, but each district is different.

In Rockford Public Schools, security officer Kelly Noordewier says the front doors are always open during school hours.

"You'll walk right in. You'll be greated right here. If you go on past this point, you'll be asked to return," she said.

When asked if they've considered the fact anyone could walk in, even someone armed and dangerous, she acknowledged the danger.

"He could. This is a school, it's not a prison. And that's where our fine line is."

Rockford public safety director Charlie Brown says he just finished the phase of hiring security for every building, and said after Friday's mass shooting, locking the front doors in some schools may be up for discussion.

Noordewier showed us around the high school. There are currently security cameras in almost every nook and cranny. Doors are also locked to places like the pool.

"You just saw, I can't get it, it's locked. The only way to get in is through the locker rooms," she said.

Lockdown drills are routine and mandatory. But even so, is this all foolproof?

"Do you lock it down 100%? I don't think we ever could. And do we want to," she said.

Larry Johnson says it is possible. He's the GRPS public safety and security director and president of the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers.

"Can you make a school 100% safe? You can, but at what cost. And how much do our young people lose when trying to create an environment like that," he said.

Johnson said after Friday's mass shooting, school safety and security need to be brought back to the forefront of the agenda.

But Johnson says the focus needs to be more on what he calls the "heartware" instead of the hardware.

"The heart, and bulidingpositive relationships with young people, building positive relationships with their families, and not worry so much about the hardware."