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Former Columbine principal: ‘We can never get to the point where we’re immune’

DENVER -- He survived the Columbine High School tragedy and has since helped lead the community through years of healing.

Former Columbine High School principal Frank DeAngelis spoke Wednesday as developments from America’s latest school shooting were still unfolding.

DeAngelis said no matter how many school shootings occur, society cannot get used to it.

“We can never get to the point where we’re immune,” DeAngelis said.

The challenge, however, is finding solutions through the debate over how to stop the violence.

“I see these kids running out of a building in a different state … it takes me back to Columbine and envisioning our kids running out of that building,” DeAngelis said.

It’s been 19 years since DeAngelis experienced the terror firsthand when two students opened fire, killing 12 of their classmates and a teacher.

DeAngelis now works to help communities heal from tragedy while also talking to school leaders from across the country to promote emergency planning and training.

“No matter where you go, people ask-- when does it get back to normal,” DeAngelis said. “Unfortunately, it does not. You have to redefine what normal is.”

DeAngelis said he will be reaching out to high school administrators in Parkland, Florida, to offer help.