Media Advisory
Contact: Kaylen Tucker, NAESP

Statement by NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly

Alexandria, Virginia—The National Association of Elementary School Principals mourns the tragic loss of life resulting from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Elementary schools are meant to be safe havens that nurture and support our nation’s children which makes today’s shootings even more horrendous. NAESP extends heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the entire Sandy Hook school community, and joins them in mourning the children and adults whose lives were lost.

We recognize the heroism of Sandy Hook school staff who sacrificed their lives and those who acted courageously to protect children. We are deeply saddened by the loss of principal Dawn Hochsprung, who has been a member of NAESP for nearly 10 years. For more on her memorial service, click here.

NAESP stands ready to assist the Sandy Hook school community during this tragedy. For resources on school crises, see our Safe School Resources page.

Principals all across our country are mourning for their fallen colleague and are feeling the unbearable loss of precious children. We pledge to do everything we can to strengthen laws and policies aimed at keeping our children safe and secure in our nation’s schools and communities.


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children