The Heartbreaking Battle for Release of the Covenant School Shooter’s Manifesto
The parents of two innocent child victims tragically killed in The Covenant School shooting have submitted heartfelt letters to a Tennessee court. These letters are at the center of a legal dispute surrounding the release of the manifesto written by the 28-year-old female shooter, who identified as transgender.
A Devastating Day
On March 27, 2023, a horrifying incident unfolded within the walls of the Covenant School, a respected Presbyterian-affiliated private school. The lives of three young students — Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney — were abruptly cut short, along with three dedicated staff members — headmaster Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak, and Mike Hill.
A Plea for Privacy
The parents of Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney have poured their hearts out in declaration letters submitted to the Davidson County Court in Nashville. These letters express their belief that the shooter’s writings should remain private, while also shedding light on the profound impact this horrific mass shooting has had on their families.
A Controversial Request
While school officials, the shooter’s parents, and a group of parents from the private Christian academy have urged the court to keep the writings confidential, concerns over safety, security, and the potential for copycat crimes, have led organizations like The Daily Wire to seek access to what has been referred to as a “manifesto.” They have made Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the shooter’s writings.
Initially, authorities indicated that the material would be released, but they have since hesitated.
However, the National Police Association and other organizations argue that Tennessee state law mandates the release of any documents related to official government business, unless there is a valid legal exception. They believe that releasing such information can help prevent or thwart potential acts of violence.
Other organizations and individuals, including the Tennessee Firearms Association, The Tennessee Star, The Tennessean newspaper, and Republican State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, have also pursued legal means to obtain the documents.
A Pending Decision
The Court has yet to decide whether to release the shooter’s writings. However, even if the documents are made public, the chances of gaining access seem slim. This is because the shooter’s parents have legally transferred the writings to a group of parents from The Covenant School.
As the legal battle for the release of the manifesto continues, the Metro Nashville Police Department, who stand in support of the victims’ and survivors’ families, currently hold the evidence.
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