Littleton, CO—Today the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Principal Recovery Network, a national network of current and former school leaders who have experienced gun violence tragedies in their schools, published the Guide to Recovery, a collection of best practices to assist school leaders in the aftermath of shooting tragedies. Authors include current and former principals of Columbine High School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Sandy Hook Elementary.

“When the shooting occurred at Columbine I was completely overwhelmed, overcome with grief and denial,” said Frank DeAngelis, former principal of Columbine High School, CO and founding member of the NASSP Principal Recovery Network. “The last thing on my mind was going back to school and I had no idea what my students and staff needed. This guide gives school leaders the structure and advice to navigate this horror and move forward. But most importantly, it shows principals that they are not alone, we’re all in this together.”

NASSP released the guide today at the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado, where a panel of the authors discussed their experiences recovering from school shootings. At the event, NASSP announced that it has granted emeritus membership to the Network members in honor of their work to save lives and help communities recover from gun violence. A recording of the event can be found at

“NASSP is proud to recognize Principal Recovery Network members with lifetime memberships to show our gratitude for their tireless efforts and advocacy,” said Ronn Nozoe, NASSP CEO. “Each member has gone through every principals’ worst nightmare. Yet when a shooting occurs, they do everything they can to provide guidance and comfort to their colleagues. We thank each of them for their courage and selflessness and are honored to support their work.”

Last week the NASSP Survey of America’s School Leaders and High School Students revealed the extent of the safety crisis facing schools. Findings include:

  • The majority of school leaders (58%) and students (53%) are concerned about gun violence;
  • A mere 53% of students report their school is “extremely” or “very safe” and 73% of students feel confident they can respond to possible violent acts at their school; and
  • The majority of school leaders (77%) and students (70%) identified using federal funding to reduce violence and bullying in schools as important.


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of middle level and high school 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 Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.