Covenant School mom heard ‘horrific screams’ on day of deadly shooting
“It shouldn’t be a right or left issue...it is a matter of life or death. We all want our kids to be safe.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - School safety is a topic at the front of many parents’ minds, maybe more this school year than any other before.
WSMV4 talked with a parent of The Covenant School about the new reality many parents now face.
One date changed Sarah Shoop Neumann’s life.
“I often think of life as pre-March 27 and post-March 27,” Neumann said.
A call from an old coworker told her there had been a shooting at The Covenant School. It’s Neumann’s son’s school.
“I was like, ‘no. They do bad guy drills,’” Neumann said. “That’s what my son calls them. I thought that this had to be one of their drills.”
Neumann then called a friend who worked at the school.
“She answered, and I heard pretty horrific screams,” Neumann said. “That is when I realized it was real.”
It is a reality that ended with three children and three adults dead.
“Before [the shooting], I go back and look at my mom’s text thread,” Neumann said. “If you look before, it is reminders of ‘don’t forget to wear this shirt today.’ A class party, and ‘what are we supposed to do for this event?’”
The text thread is drastically different now.
“What do you do when a metal water bottle drops on the floor? What do you do when your older son starts having potty accidents again?”
Neumann said the hardest thing has been seeing just how much and how often the shooting is impacting their children’s lives. It is something that was evident at her son’s birthday party in June.
“Some of the boys were on the playground,” Neumann said. “I heard one of them start screaming ‘they have a gun! They have a gun!’ There was a pond in our neighborhood, and someone had a fishing pole.”
Her now six-year-old asks questions like this: “How did they know to do the bad guy drills? Has it happened before?”
Neumann co-founded Covenant Families for Brighter Tomorrows and the Covenant Families Action Fund. It is a bipartisan group pushing for firearm reform legislation in this month’s special session.
“It shouldn’t be a right or left issue,” Neumann said. “It is a matter of life or death. We all want our kids to be safe.”
Neumann hopes no more families have to experience another March 27. “I don’t know if I will ever feel totally at peace again,” Neumann said.
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