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PARKLAND, Fla. (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/AP) – Just before the shooting broke out, some students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School thought they were having another fire drill.

Authorities say a gunman pulled the alarm Wednesday afternoon to flush the students out into the hallways. They say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz then opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 and sending hundreds of others fleeing into the streets.

This latest shooting has many asking the question, Can a school ever be fully secure?

Retired West Jefferson Hills Superintendent Dr. Michael Panza says, “unfortunately no.”

“Schools and school superintendents are taking such great measures to always keep their kids safe, but unfortunately people continue to try to find a way and it’s just so sad,” said Panza.

Even though there have already been multiple school shootings in 2018, Dr. Panza says schools are still a safe place.

“I want people to understand that schools are still a safe place and yes this is the 18th shooting so far in this school year. Thank goodness [during] eight of them, there was no one that was hurt, but they’re still alarming numbers,” said Panza.

So what can be done to help prevent the next school shooting?

Dr. Panza says that parents need to be role models for children.

“Parents need to be parents, teachers need to be teachers, and adults need to be adults and we need to role model for children how to appropriately solve conflicts,” said Panza.

Dr. Panza adds parents should monitor what their children are doing, who their friends are and know where their children are.

If everyone is actively involved, in Dr. Panza’s opinion, tragedies can be avoided.

“Look what just happened in Uniontown and South Park and I really commend those superintendents and administrators because of what they heard, they took appropriate action and they were able to make sure that their students were safe,” said Panza.

Panza says monitoring doors during arrival and dismissal, using cameras and making a plan with local authorities are also important steps.

Listen to the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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