School leaders impacted by gun violence gathered
to share valuable insights and support

Reston, VA – NASSP is leading the discussion about school safety and effective legislation by launching the new NASSP Policy & Advocacy Center; issuing position statements on key education topics; hosting congressional briefings; meeting with members of Congress; and amplifying the voices of school leaders, teachers, and students across the country. Additionally, NASSP continues its work on Capitol Hill, advocating for strong, decisive action and policy change to end gun violence in schools.

As part of its commitment to supporting school leaders, NASSP provides resources principals need to deal with this timely and difficult topic. Featured in the September issue of Principal Leadership magazine, produced to provide secondary school principals with content and information to support their growth and the success of their schools, is a special roundtable discussion between three school and district leaders who have dealt with active school shooters and violent school perpetrators. They are: Warman Hall, principal at Aztec High School in New Mexico; Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District in California; and George Roberts, community superintendent in Baltimore County Public Schools and former principal at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore. Throughout the roundtable discussion,these leaders provide insight into their experiences and best practice advice to other principals who might be wondering how they can best support their students, staff, and community.

An excerpt from the article: “My advice to the principal would be, start with relationships, keep your main focus on healing for at least a year or more. Be patient on the other areas that might come with academics. I think that you continue the good work going forward for young people; oftentimes we can get out of balance between support and the consequences of such an event.” – Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District in California.

NASSP fully realizes that one roundtable article cannot fully delve into all the issues surrounding school safety that affect the role of the principal and other education stakeholders, but the association is committed to providing school leaders the tools, information, and resources they need to thrive within their community. The additional articles within the September issue ofPrincipal Leadership focus on additional school safety matters. NASSP will continue to cover the school safety issue in Principal Leadership throughout this academic year—and beyond.

To that end, in September (23-26), the Principals Institute will convene each of the 50+ State Principals of the Year for hands-on advocacy training, culminating in a Capitol Hill Day, during which they meet with their respective members of Congress about key education issues. Key message points during those visits will be reducing gun violence and school safety.

“NASSP is committed to helping school leaders ensure that schools are safe, equitable places where all students are able to learn, grow, and thrive,” stated NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “And as the first line of defense against policies that fly in the face of what we believe as educators, it’s important for school leaders to tell their stories and engage in actions that support our schools.”

The special section, “Dealing With Active Shooters” from September’s Principal Leadership attached to this release. You can learn more about NASSP’s advocacy efforts moving forward in the Advocacy Agenda column in the September issue of Principal Leadership as well.

Principal Leadership magazine is provided to all NASSP members and is a monthly publication that addresses the unique needs and challenges of school leaders. Click here to access the September issue. Back issues are available online and accessible by members only. School leaders can find out more about membership, access to Principal Leadership magazine and how to become a member at:


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor SocietyNational Junior Honor SocietyNational Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.