RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – School safety is under a microscope as Congress considers tougher gun laws following the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. This week a group is meeting at Eastern Kentucky University’s campus for a conference to take a closer look at the subject.

“It’s more than just having a hired gun in the building we do so much more – our motto is protect educate and mentor and that takes a group effort,” James Poynter, president of the Kentucky Association of School Resource Officers told FOX 56.

To the people at this year’s Safe Schools and Communities Conference, the term “school safety” takes on a greater meaning. They’re often the first line of defense to stop school shootings.

“Even if there’s been 10 the year before and there was only one this year – if that’s my grandbaby if that’s your child one is too many Karen McCriston retiring director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety Resource Center said.

On the agenda were different topics from mental health, new school laws, to social media trends. But attendees also heard wisdom from those who’ve experienced the worst.

The now-retired principal speaks at many events like this to offer perspective on recovery and lessons learned since the tragedy.

“Now things have changed, and you have school resource officers because most of these events are over in five minutes and that’s why it’s so important for school resource officers to be in schools,” DeAngelis said.

“When people leave here after tomorrow, we hope that they’ve built relationships, they’ve shared stories of what works what doesn’t work, and how to strengthen the community as a whole – not just the school,” Poynter said.