Uvalde Foundation cancels protest at Overton High School

The non-profit group made the decision after MNPS sent a communication to parents regarding protocols for school threats.
MNPS affirms that when a facility receives a threat, the school’s first priority is securing the building, and then they will inform the parents.
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 4:31 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 6:49 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Uvalde Foundation canceled a rally at Overton High School on Thursday morning.

The protest was originally planned in response to Monday’s lockdown at the school after two active shooter threats were received.

Parents said they heard nothing from the school or school district for almost an hour after the school was placed on lockdown.

“Don’t sit there and tell me you can’t tell me about my children,” one parent said outside the school on Monday.

The Uvalde Foundation said it later decided to cancel the protest after Metro Nashville Public Schools sent communication to families regarding the threats.

Dear MNPS Parents,

In recent weeks, you may have seen on the news or experienced situations in which schools were placed on lockdown due to threats. Thankfully, these have all turned out to be not credible and an attempt by either students or people from outside of the state intending to cause fear, disruption, or drain valuable police resources. Some students may think of these as pranks designed to get out of classes or school, but they are extremely serious and carry with them significant legal and disciplinary penalties.

While we know the likelihood of a phone or social media threat being credible is extremely low, our schools and the police department must take them seriously until proven otherwise. MNPS isn’t the only school district experiencing these problems; we’ve seen them happening all over the country in the last couple of years.

Please take a moment to talk to your kids. Making or sharing online threats, calling in threats, or sharing rumors of a threat can be a big deal. In fact, the law now has a strict zero-tolerance policy about this, leading to serious legal trouble. One of our students this week was arrested for making a threat that caused panic and fear amongst students, parents, and staff – while requiring significant police resources to be deployed to our school to investigate.

If you come across any scary or threatening posts, please don't share them online. Instead, let the school or the police know right away. We also ask that parents not share rumors online or with other parents but report them directly to the school or district. This is particularly important during lockout or lockdown situations when schools and law enforcement are still assessing the situation to determine the safety of students. It is natural for children and even adults to speculate, but we must wait for the facts to be investigated and shared by law enforcement and school officials before jumping to conclusions.

Thank you for helping to make our schools a safe and happy place for everyone.

Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Schools

MNPS affirms that when a facility receives a threat, the school’s first priority is securing the building, and then they will inform the parents.

The Uvalde Foundation For Kids said, “While our foundation maintains that the district and school would do their students well to review recent incidents further to enhance their communication response timeliness and effectiveness - based on the recent commitment by MNPS, as addressed in their releases - Our foundation can only trust they have begun that very process. That noted, I have directed our teams to halt all planned rallies and demonstrations at this time.”

The Uvalde Foundation was formed by parents affected by the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. On that day, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a former student at the school, fatally shot 19 students and two teachers, before officers shot and killed him.

The aftermath of the shooting was made worse through the investigations that discovered the gunman was left to shoot in the school for over one hour before law enforcement engaged. Multiple lapses in communication and leadership led to significant delays in officers’ actions.