NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — For the first time, parents from The Covenant School are collectively making their stance known. In a strongly worded filing, parents stated they do not want the Covenant shooter’s writings to be released to the public.
The parents have requested a judge to hear their plea before making a decision on the shooter’s so-called “manifesto.”
The briefing was filed on behalf of the three families who lost children in the shooting and families of surviving children.
The filing described a “pain that no words can adequately describe” and an “unimaginable nightmare” while noting the surviving children’s sense of safety has been forever altered.
“No one was more traumatized, or has suffered more, than the families of the victims and survivors of the Covenant school atrocity. No one. And no one can claim a remotely similar interest in whether the writings of the shooter be released.”
The Metro Nashville Police Department has submitted a journal, along with a proposed redacted version for the public, to a Davidson County judge.
Both are under seal and were expected to to be the center of discussion in a hearing on Thursday, May 18 — which has been rescheduled for Monday, May 22 — after several lawsuits were filed calling for Metro police to release the shooter’s manifesto.
The stance of the families involved in the filing is that no good can come from the release of the writings. In fact, they believe the materials shouldn’t be released at all, referring to them as “dangerous and harmful writings of a mentally-damaged person.”
More than three-quarters of families at The Covenant School reportedly support the intervention filing.
“More families are signing up every minute, and we expect additional families will continue to opt-in for the next few days,” the filing reads.
Third, and most urgently and at a minimum, the parents implored the court to refrain from ordering the release of any documents until, at the earliest, a scheduled June 8 hearing so that “the children of Covenant School might finish the school year in peace.”
“The parents humbly and respectfully request that this court spare them and their children the additional pain that would be caused by the release of these documents until after the school year concludes by choosing not to issue any order to release the writings until June 9 at the earliest. It just so happens that waiting until June 9 will also give this court time to permit litigation of these issues, as the parents requested.”
The Covenant families also want to the ability to give victim impact statements.
Three separate lawsuits have been filed, all of which call for the release of the written materials and other documents related to the shooting.
All parties involved in the litigation will have an opportunity to voice their opinions to the court as to what should and should not be released.
On March 27, six people, including three children, were shot and killed by 28-year-old Audrey Hale at the Covenant School in Green Hills. The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old; as well as Cynthia Peak, 61; Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.
Inside the home, officers found two shotguns, one in a bedroom closet and another next to a desk in a bedroom. A suicide note was found on a desk in one of the bedrooms.
There were also five Covenant School yearbooks taken from the home. Police reported Hale attended The Covenant School at one time.
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Investigators also seized what they described as a psych medical folder. Hale was also reportedly under doctor’s care for an “emotional disorder.” Hale’s parents thought the shooter only owned one gun and that it had been sold.
According to police, Hale fired a total of 152 rounds (126 rifle rounds and 26 nine-millimeter rounds) from the time Hale shot their way into the school to the time Hale was shot and killed by police.
The collective writings written by Hale found in a vehicle left in the school parking lot, and others found in the home search, show Hale documented the planning over a period of months to commit mass murder at The Covenant School. Hale also considered “the actions of other mass murderers.”