The New Jersey School Boards Association expresses its condolences to the Nashville and education communities after three children and three adults were gunned down at a grade school March 27. The shooter, wielding two assault-style rifles and a pistol, was killed by police. The shooting occurred at The Covenant School, a private Christian school for about 200 students from preschool through sixth grade.

Dr. Timothy J. Purnell, executive director and CEO of the New Jersey School Boards Association, was shocked by the senselessness and evil of the act.

“We are heartbroken for the students, staff, families and community of The Covenant School,” he said. “We offer our prayers and condolences. As educators, we immediately think about the children we serve. We must stay vigilant as we strive to keep our most precious gifts safe.” He added, “We also must take steps to protect the most vulnerable populations within our schools. Our halls of learning are sacred places, and they must be kept safe for everyone. Making sure of that is our primary responsibility.”