Live Updates: Texas School Shooting

Frank DeAngelis, longtime principal of Columbine High School, is seen at his home in Arvada, Colorado on Thursday, March 17. (Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images)

Frank DeAngelis, who was principal at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 when two gunmen killed 13 people on campus, told CNN that a network of education officials who have been victims of gun violence is available to help. helping those at Robb Elementary School after Tuesday’s shooting.

“There are about 29 of us who have been involved in shootings in our community. So we’re reaching out and we’ve got guides just to help wherever we can. And it’s not a one-time phone call” , DeAngelis said of the group, the Principal Recovery Network.
“I will be there every step of the way to help them, just as people have helped me in our community.”

DeAngelis said after the Columbine shooting, Bill Bond, who was then principal at Heath High School in Kentucky when a gunman opened fire and killed three classmates in 1997, called him to offer him support and advice.

“He said, ‘Frank, you don’t even know what you need at this point, but just keep my number. “”

DeAngelis has since called several schools after mass shootings to provide the same support, he said, and reached out and left a voicemail for the principal of Robb Elementary.

“I made a comment right after Columbine – I said, you know, I just joined a club that nobody wants to be a member of. And I just want to reach out.”

As part of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, members of the Principal Recovery Network “reach out directly to their colleagues to provide much-needed support, share the combined wisdom of their experience with the wider principals through various outlets, assisting schools during recovery, and advocating for nationwide school safety improvements and violence prevention programs,” according to its website.

DeAngelis credited improving police response times and introducing lockdown drills over the past two decades, but stressed more needed to be done.

“I think back to Parkland, which happened on Valentine’s Day 2018, and everyone was excited and we have to do things. And the students were saying, ‘You adults have let us down, we have to do something. Now, four years later, we have those same discussions, it’s time to stop talking and start doing things.
“And I know last night all the parents who hugged their child on the way home last night, they put them to bed just thinking, you know, there’s no guarantee. And we we cannot let this evil prevail.”

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