Retired Principal of Columbine High School Recites Victims’ Names Every Morning, Finds Purpose in Their Memory

Retired Principal of Columbine High School Recites Victims’ Names Every Morning, Finds Purpose in Their Memory

Retired principal Frank DeAngelis, who survived the tragic Columbine High School massacre 25 years ago, continues to honor the memory of the victims by reciting their names every morning. DeAngelis, who was in his office at the Littleton, Colorado school on April 20, 1999, when the shooting occurred, credits the victims for giving him the motivation to carry on.

Recalling the fateful day, DeAngelis initially believed the reports of gunfire were a senior prank. However, his worst nightmare became a reality when he encountered one of the gunmen just 75 yards away. Acting swiftly, he guided approximately 25 girls into the gymnasium, ensuring their safety until the danger subsided.

The shooting, carried out by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, both Columbine seniors, resulted in the deaths of 12 students, one teacher, and the two shooters themselves. An additional 21 individuals were injured. At the time, the Columbine massacre was the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, a record that has since been surpassed multiple times.

DeAngelis’s colleague and mentor, Coach Dave Sanders, sacrificed his life to protect students and diverted the shooters’ attention away from DeAngelis. Despite his heroic efforts, Sanders tragically lost his life during the incident.

In the aftermath of the shooting, DeAngelis struggled emotionally but found solace in the support of his pastor, who reminded him of his purpose. Believing that he was spared for a reason, DeAngelis resolved to help others and founded the Principal Recovery Network in 2019. This organization provides guidance to school administrators dealing with the aftermath of shootings or other crises.

DeAngelis also published a memoir in 2019 titled “They Call Me ‘Mr. De,'” recounting the events of April 20, 1999, and his personal journey towards healing. Additionally, the Principal Recovery Network released a “Guide to Recovery” for schools rebuilding after violent incidents, which has been widely utilized.

As the 25th anniversary of the Columbine shooting approached, DeAngelis addressed a group of current Columbine students, emphasizing his refusal to succumb to hopelessness and allowing evil to prevail. The shooting was also commemorated at an emotional vigil, where 13 empty chairs symbolized the victims. Tom Mauser, father of Columbine sophomore Daniel Mauser, who lost his life in the tragedy, urged attendees to never forget the victims and their families.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. I am absolutely disgusted by this topic. It is sickening to think that someone would want to honor the memory of such a horrific event like the Columbine High School massacre. Reciting the names of the victims every morning is not only morbid, but it also perpetuates the glorification of violence. Instead of focusing on healing and moving forward, this retired principal seems to be stuck in the past, relishing in the tragedy. It is time to let go of the obsession with this horrific event

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