Former Columbine High School Principal shares message of ‘triumph over tragedy’

PUEBLO, Colo. – It was a school shooting that rocked the nation.

The massacre that’s reported as the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history happened in Colorado.

Many days, we hear about yet another mass shooting occurring somewhere across the country, but one man who knows the situation all too well is hoping to stop it from happening again.

Seventeen years ago, 12 students and one teacher were killed when two teens opened fire.

The gunmen then turned the guns on themselves.

Frank DeAngelis was the principal at the time and worked at the school for 35 years.

On Thursday, he was at Central High School in Pueblo sharing his message of triumph over tragedy.

He retired two years ago, and has been traveling across the country and Canada talking to communities about how they can protect their students.

He’s also helping others cope after going through similar situations.

DeAngelis says after his students were killed on April 20th, 1999, he made a promise to try to stop these tragedies from occurring anywhere else.

“I know many people would like to see metal detectors and cameras, but I’m not sure if that stops it. I think what we need to do is develop a culture and an environment that is welcoming to all students and to address the needs of those kids that are crying out for help,” DeAngelis said. “That’s what I’m trying to do is make sure we know all of our kids. It’s all about relationships.”

DeAngelis still lives in Colorado. He shares his message in three different places every month.

This story was originally published by News 4 sister station Fox 21, a Media General Contributing station. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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