The latest school mass shooting in the U.S. resulted in the murder of three students and three staff members at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. School buses and their drivers were once again at the ready to help.
Metro Nashville Public Schools, located about six miles from the private Christian school that serves pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students, maintains a close working relationship with the state’s Office of Emergency Management and is a part of emergency response plans a community partner, district spokesman Sean Braisted told School Transportation News.
Braisted continued that as the situation was unfolding on Monday, the district received a request for bus transportation to support the relocation of students at Covenant to reunification sites. He said the district sent seven buses driven by employees of the district’s transportation department.
“We have in the past responded to similar calls for support when there has been a need for large evacuations during an emergency event,” he said, citing the 2020 Nashville bombing as well as apartment fires and building collapses.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department identified Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, all age 9, as the Covenant students murdered Monday. School employees Mike Hill and Cynthia Peak, both age 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, were also killed. The 28-year-old shooter reportedly attended Covenant years ago. She was killed by responding police officers.
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Dr. Adrienne Battle, the director of Metro Nashville, issued a statement in response to the shooting.
“As a parent, as an educator, as a human being, I’m grieving today over the tragic murder of children and school staff right here in our community,” she stated. “My heart goes out to the entire Covenant School community and the parents grieving the unimaginable loss of life today. We have been in close contact with the MNPD throughout the day, and we are providing whatever support we can to assist in their response. This is a traumatic event for the entire community, and our student support services team will be working to help our students and staff process this situation in the days to come.”
She added that Metro Nashville Schools has “invested considerable resources to strengthen security at our facilities in response to the far too many, far too often instances of school shootings across the nation over the years. We will continue to reinforce our safety protocols and monitor and follow best practices on keeping students safe from harm.”