Local school officials react to Nashville shooting
JACKSON, Tenn. — Monday, 28-year-old Audrey Hale walked into the Covenant School in Nashville and opened fire, killing six people.
“As a school community, and as a Christian family and school, we were shocked, surprised and horrified by what took place at the Covenant School in Nashville,” said Blake Beckham, the Vice President of Advancement and Community Outreach at Jackson Christian School.
The shooting took the life of three children and three adults. Many schools are reflecting on how to move forward with security and making sure safety is always the top priority.
“No one is safe and immune from this kind of violence. And despite the fact that Covenant School had the safety protocols, if a person is bent on this kind of violence and mayhem, they’re going to breach the most secure places,” said Pierre Antoine, the Superintendent of Catholic School for Diocese of Memphis.
Unfortunately, many schools have trainings for situations like this. Jackson Christian School had active shooter drills for students. And the staff at St. Mary’s Catholic School and Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ had trainings from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
“You can control what you can control,” Beckham said. “Each of our buildings only have one point of entry that you have to be buzzed into. Also, every one of our educators, staff, teachers, they work behind locked doors.”
It hasn’t been 48 hours since the shooting, many schools have not yet had the discussion of additional security and protocols moving forward. However, in this time of tragedy, some parents may be reluctant or hesitant to send their child to the place where they should feel the safest.
“Today, many of our principals were already leading with sending messages to our parents and reinforcing what we’re doing. And so I was very pleased to see that they’re reacting quickly in a sense to this tragedy,” Antoine said.
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