In the aftermath of the heartbreaking mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, the school’s lawyers took a significant step this week. They filed a motion to intervene in several lawsuits pushing for the disclosure of the 28-year-old female shooter’s manifesto, citing the protection of sensitive information regarding the private school as their primary concern.
The school authorities are deeply concerned that the manifesto might unveil details that could jeopardize the school’s security. This includes specific layouts of the school facilities and confidential data about its personnel and students.
As per the motion, “The outcome of this lawsuit may compromise the school’s ability to safeguard its interests and the privacy of its employees and students,” Fox 17 Nashville reports.
It’s been two months since the tragic incident where the female shooter, who identified as male and remains unnamed here to avoid amplifying notoriety, launched an attack at the private Presbyterian institution. The horrific event claimed six lives, including three 9-year-olds. The victims were Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all aged 9, along with Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, and Mike Hill, all in their sixties.
Just minutes after receiving the initial distress call, Metro Nashville Police officers shot and killed the woman. Subsequent searches of the shooter’s property uncovered multiple laptops, a suicide note, memoirs, school yearbooks, and several cell phones, according to a search warrant.
Metro Nashville’s Director of Law, Wally Dietz, extended his support to the school’s move, stating that local authorities “believe the Church and the School have a right to be heard.” Nashville officials have also backed the school’s motion.
“The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson does not oppose the intervention of Covenant Presbyterian Church of Nashville or The Covenant School,” said city officials. “The Metropolitan Government supports their intervention and asks that the Court allow them to participate in the show cause hearing and take their interests and arguments into consideration.”
Earlier this week, Tennessee House Republicans sent a letter to the Nashville police chief requesting the release of the shooter’s writings and toxicology reports. They argued that this information is crucial for understanding the perpetrator’s motives ahead of a special session called by Republican Governor Bill Lee.
In response to the lawmakers’ request, Dietz clarified that the decision to release any documents rests with the court, not solely with Metro. He emphasized that without the court’s approval, releasing the documents would be a violation of the court order.
Last Friday, in response to several lawsuits demanding its public release, Nashville city attorneys submitted an unredacted copy of the manifesto for review to a county judge.
The city’s legal representatives have provided two versions of the manifesto to the Davidson County Chancellor’s chambers — an unredacted copy and a proposed redacted duplicate. Both are under review before a public hearing about the release of the writings, scheduled for June 8.