Schools have so many different physical designs, said Dugas, that there's no single security protocol to follow.
"Many schools have some security measures already, ranging from school resource officers to unarmed security personnel. Some have doors you have to buzz in, some don't. Some have security cameras, some don't," Dugas said. "There really isn't a consistent starting point, and the inquiries have been all over the lot. One of the most immediate ideas is [for schools to consider] having a police officer on campus for the near future." Installing metal detectors is another possibility.
In the years after the Sept. 11 attacks and the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, Mooney added sections to his school law book about students who pose threats to others, touching on the 21st-century issues of Internet bullying and other new forms of violence.
Beyond the topic of making schools physically safer, Mooney says schools are involved in observing the emotional well-being of students. And parents, who may have previously resisted schools' suggestions, are just now becoming more receptive to their child receiving professional help.
"It's not uncommon for parents to resist efforts to deal with children who have a disturbance," said Mooney. "Whether it's just natural defensiveness about someone saying something negative about your kid, or about the adage that the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree."
He continued: "Interestingly, two of my partners said they've gotten [recent] calls where parents are in a situation where they think, `Oh, my goodness, maybe I should take this seriously and get a risk assessment [performed on their child], as the school people have been telling me. Because I might be at risk as well.'"
The first victim of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Sandy Hook gunman, was his mother, who purchased and registered the weapons he used.
There is widespread agreement that Lanza was a young man with emotional and mental disabilities, and some media reports said he may have been facing institutionalization. There is little question he did not get the help he needed in time.
West Hartford lawyer Howard Klebanoff, a former state legislator and the parent of two children with disabilities, has dedicated his legal career to the process of getting the right help to school age students with disabilities.
In the late 1960s, Klebanoff was a pioneer in this field. As chair of the legislative Education Committee, he drafted much of the disability law that affected schools in the state. He also traveled the country gathering citizen input for the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was introduced in 1975.