Washington, DC—Today the Principal Recovery Network (PRN), a national network of current and former school leaders who have experienced gun violence tragedies in their schools and led in the aftermath, met with Members of Congress to ask for policies to improve mental health, safety and learning in schools. Attendees include the former principal of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the current principal of Sandy Hook Elementary. The PRN is supported by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

“Long after the initial flood of resources and media attention has run dry, our community is still grappling with immense grief,” said Ty Thompson, former principal of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and founding member of the NASSP Principal Recovery Network. “After guiding our schools and others through shooting tragedies, we have an intimate understanding of the needs of students and staff experiencing trauma. The policies we’re advocating for will provide sustained support to heal our communities and help prevent another Parkland from ever happening again.”

The PRN’s advocacy takes place during a critical moment. There have been 24 school shootings this year that resulted in 35 injuries or deaths, according to an Education Week analysis. Moreover, NASSP’s Survey of America’s School Leaders and High School Students revealed that the majority of school leaders (58%) and students (53%) are concerned about gun violence. The PRN’s legislative agenda, which would provide students and educators with mental wellness, school safety and learning supports, is a critical component of preventing and healing from violence.

You can find the PRN’s legislative agenda here.

“Students and school leaders are immensely grateful for the PRN’s advocacy and sacrifice,” said Ronn Nozoe, CEO of NASSP. “Each member has lived every principals’ greatest fear. Despite this, they continue to show tremendous courage and selflessness by guiding their peers through these tragedies and advocating for systemic change. We are honored to support their work and ask that our federal leaders join them in collective action to end school shootings once and for all.”

Founded in April 2019, the PRN seeks to assist the next principal who endures a shooting by reaching out directly to their colleagues to provide much-needed support, share the combined wisdom of their experience with the larger principal community through various outlets, assist schools during recovery and advocate for national school safety enhancements and violence prevention programs. Last year, the PRN published its Guide to Recovery, a collection of best practices to assist school leaders in the aftermath of shooting tragedies.

Photos and interviews available upon request.