Local parents horrified by Texas mass shooting

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Local parents react to the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

News4 was at a town hall this afternoon at the MNPS Board Room when many parents learned of the tragedy. News4 spoke with one mom who is running for a school board seat. She has a child in the third grade and can’t wrap her mind around the idea of something like this happening to her son or any of his friends.

“I can’t imagine as a parent,” Berthena Nabaa-McKinney said. “I am getting emotional. I can’t imagine sending my son off to school and then, at the end of the day, not being able to bring him home.”

Nabaa-McKinney is full of emotion. “Anger, hurt, fear,” she said.

This comes after a deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Her son is in third grade at Stanford Montessori Elementary School in Nashville. “I have a child the same age,” Nabaa-McKinney said.

She and many other parents learned of the shooting either on the way to or during a town hall at Metro Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday afternoon. There was a moment of silence for the lives lost, followed by tears from school board members.

“The elementary school students that succumbed to this unfortunate event... They were supported by, continued to be loved by, and unfortunately now are grieved by parents,” school board chair Christiane Buggs said.

Following the shooting, superintendent Dr. Adrienne Battle said she is consulting with Metro Police and school security to determine any additional security steps that should be taken.

“One thing that might be circling in your minds is, ‘how is MNPS responding to this?’” Battle said. “Our team is already having conversations and working with MNPD and reminding our teams of all our protocols.”

The district said it does not publicly share specific security protocols for safety reasons. However, some parents said they are happy with the steps MNPS has taken so far.

“I feel like her school is very safe,” parent Dawn Johnson said. “It is hard for me to get into her school as a parent. I have to show my ID, buzz me in, and there are multiple doors between the school and me.”

Nabaa-McKinney said things would be different, sending her son to school Wednesday. “Hug him tighter and pray a little more,” Nabaa-McKinney said. “And praying for the families who weren’t given the same opportunity today.”

MNPS said counselors would be available Wednesday to answer questions and offer support. MNPS is also providing resources and guidance to schools on responding to a traumatic event like this.

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