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School leaders across country release guide on recovering from gun tragedy

Former Perry Hall High School Principal George Roberts was among the group
Shooting near Minnesota school
Posted at 10:40 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-22 23:19:41-04

BALTIMORE — Current and former school leaders met up at the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado on Monday to release a Guide to Recovery.

In attendance was George Roberts, the former Principal of Perry Hall High School in Baltimore, where a shooting occurred back in 2012.

A school shooting is a tragic situation that no parent should have to encounter.

"You take your kids to school but you shouldn't have to worry about them coming home every day," a speaker said.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals — Principal Recovery Network released a network guide to recovery.

The 16-page document is intended to assist in the aftermath and trauma from a school shooting.

"What the guide helps do is provide some tangible long term solutions so again whether that's five years, 10 years, 15, 20 or 30 years down the road," Roberts said. "There are things making sure there are always counseling available."

The NASSP Principal Recovery Network consists of current and former principals from across the country who have experienced gun violence in their buildings.

Roberts was a former principal at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County in 2012 when 15-year-old Robert Gladden brought a shotgun to school and opened fire, injuring 17-year-old Daniel Borowy.

A teacher stopped Gladden who was taken into custody and convicted of attempted murder.

"Mine was the first day of school," Roberts said. "And there is never a good day for an active shooter, but the first day of school? With the excitement that it brings for everyone on the first day of school, that will forever change for me and for all us in our community in the Perry Hall High School in the Baltimore community. We will always remember the first day of school a little bit differently."

The guide is broken down into five parts: Securing Support and Responding to Offers of Assistance, Reopening the School, Attending to Ongoing Needs of Student and Staff, Holding Commemorations, Annual Remembrances and Listening to Student Voices

"It's a quick read, an easy read," Roberts said. "It's not something that is going to take someone a long time to dig deep. But it is a guide you can dog ear, you can highlight, you can point out, you can flag, so you're aware. And we know that preparation is the foundation of everything.”

It's not just in school that preparation must be made.

Some parents in Baltimore said they start the conversation at home.

"Our home teach is if you see a gun, move away from the situation and actually go tell the police officer of the school, go tell the principal, go tell an adult figure and also go and hide," said Nikki Dorsey, whose daughter is starting middle school. "Or fight or flight. If you can't find anywhere to go you, fight you're way out, if you can find somewhere to go then hide."

"It's always this and that going on, so they are encouraged to carry a gun or do whatever it is, that is negative," another mother said. "So of course its a concern for me. It's always a concern for me but that's always a conversation I have with my children."

A big message of this guide is remembering that you are not alone in the recovery process.

For more information on the principal recovery network