BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Following the tragic loss of 19 children and two teachers in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, school safety has been the center of debate across the country. 

“We don’t have the luxury, we don’t have the luxury in time and space today to not have a plan,” said Lt. Colonel Kenny VanBuren.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to have an event like this but it’s necessary, “said State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “School systems have been working with law enforcement communities for some time, but it needed to be an elevated conversation this particular year.”

This event brings together school system leaders, local and state law enforcement, governmental agencies, and mental health providers to share and learn best practices around school safety and emergency preparedness.

“It’s important to realize that the job of keeping schools safe is the job of everyone,” said Superintendent of schools for Evangeline Parish Darwan Lazard.

When it comes to emergency preparedness Brumley believes there are four key points to focus on when it comes to bettering school safety. 

“We have to tell our kids if they see something, hear something that doesn’t sound right, that they need to let an adult know. I think we need to be more deliberate in hardening the parameters of our school and not be soft targets, making sure that we have access controls, single points of entry, making sure that our kids have access to mental health professionals like social workers and counselors and continuing the conversations between schools and law enforcement and other agencies, mental health so that they can work together to help support our kids,” said Brumley.