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HOUSTON --- As thousands of Houston-area students returned to school Monday many campuses aimed to reassure parents that it is safe for their kids to go to class.

Houston Independent School District officials wasted no time after they learned about what happened in Newtown, Conn.

We put all of our officers on heightened alert, and tried to move them in as close as possible, or around the schools, and make sure we would have a rapid response (just) in case, said Chief Jimmy Dotson, with HISD.

About 200 officers were in close proximity to the 300 or so schools.

We live in an open society. It s difficult to stop someone from coming on the campus, but we try to make sure our administrators are keeping the facilities safe and that no one can just walk in off the streets, he said.

The HISD chief said each school holds an active drill with the students and officers once a year.

School psychologist Dr. Patricia Weger was also on hand Monday and suggested that parents watch what their children do carefully.

If they re worrying, they may have a regressive behavior you might see, they might be more clingy right now, she said.

Weger said it s OK if they cry or want to sleep next to you. The school also handed out flyers and links to parents telling them how to handle the situation.

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