NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Thursday night, about a dozen people made a pledge for peace. The nonprofit organization, Partners In The Struggle, and its sister organization the AnTwand Covington Jr. Foundation held an event called “16 Reasons That Could Have Been.”

The event highlighted the importance of keeping guns out of Metro Public Schools.

“The thought of any kid, a student bringing a gun into one of our Metro schools and the consequences and the what if’s that could happen,” said Earl Jordan, Founder of Partners In The Struggle.

Each person that attended has their own story of pain, but on Thursday, Jordan demonstrated the reason why it’s important to keep firearms out of Metro schools.

The organization pointed to the last school year (2021-2022) when 16 handguns were brought into Metro schools by students.

“This handgun could take a life, and I don’t want to get that phone call or get a tweet that there’s been a shooting at one of our Metros where somebody lost their life,” said Jordan.

While laying on the ground, covered in a white sheet, Jordan showed “what could happen” if a gun were to go off inside a school.

“We do not want any of our children, our precious cargo, to lose their life in any type of way, but especially inside of our school house where a handgun may come inside,” said Jordan while laying underneath the sheet.

As he lay, signs with the names and dates of each school where a gun was brought in by a student were placed around him. The idea was to signify that at any of those moments, a young life could have been taken.

The 16 schools represented each time a firearm was confiscated from a student inside a school, within the past school year. This is a mission that is especially personal for Talia Monget-Simmons.

“I will forever tell my story because I don’t want parents going through the same thing I went through. It’s 10 years and it’s still hard for me to look at Tayoins pictures,” said Monget-Simmons to the crowd.

Monget-Simmon’s son, AnTwand Covington Jr. was shot and killed while leaving a birthday party in Antioch. Thursday marked exactly 10 years since his death.

“He came in the room and said mom Twand got shot, so I said stop playing you know that’s the first thing you think in your head,” remembered Monget-Simmons, as she thought back to the moment her other son told her about the shooting. “We have to start teaching our kids, we have to start implementing to them, you don’t have to pick up a gun, you don’t have to be around peers that are playing with a gun, you don’t have to do any of that, but if you don’t start now, if you don’t start young, the older they get, we’re going to lose them,” said Monget-Simmons.

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At the event each person took a pledge:

  • Not to touch or pick up a gun
  • Not to take a gun to school
  • Not to hang around any peers or friends who have a gun, or are playing with a gun