Nashville Christian School Files Motion Blocking Release Of Transgender Attacker’s Manifesto – Citing Privacy Issues

 May 18, 2023

Wednesday, Covenant Presbyterian School filed a motion to block the release of transgender shooter, Audrey Hale’s manifesto, citing that the release of the manifesto, may publicize schematics of the school/school facilities, and/or confidential information regarding students and school employees. The motion added –

“The disposition of this action may impair or impede its ability to protect its interests and the privacy of its employees and students.”

-Covenant Presbyterian School Motion

On March 27, 2023 Covenant Presbyterian School, was attacked by 28-year-old transgender, Hale. A former student at the school, Hale, shot and killed three children and three adults in the attack. She was also killed by authorities during the altercation. Recovered at the scene, were three weapons. It was later revealed she fired some 152 rounds during the apparently premeditated attack.

According to a warrant, police who searched the house, hours after the massacre, where Hale lived, found five yearbooks from the school, other weapons equipment and 11 'home videos'. It also said a shotgun was found in a bedroom closet at the home and another was next to a desk.

Other discoveries included 'notepads w/ passwords', a 'bag w/ targets' and empty ammo boxes. Apparently among these items were a suicide note and 19 journals, together with notes indicating Hale’s extensive planning of the massacre, months in advance. Authorities have called the collection of documents found Hale’s “Manifesto”.

Besides the horrific grief and shock the families, school and community have faced, there has been a frenzy of entities who have been seeking access to Hales manifesto which has never been publicly released. The actual release of the manifesto has been hotly debated.

Early on, entitles – mostly news outlets, have been applying, via public records requests, to the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department (NMPD), as well as the FBI, who have been reluctant to release the manifesto, while the investigation is ongoing. In keeping with that rationale, on Tuesday, the MNPD denied the Tennessee Star’s public records request for the manifesto, claiming it is still part of an “open case.”

The New York Post reported in mid-April, that Courtney Johnston, Metro Nashville Council Member, indicated the FBI was stalling the manifesto’s release. In her interview with the post reportedly she claimed-

 “What I was told is, her manifesto was a blueprint on total destruction, and it was so, so detailed at the level of what she had planned.”…adding… “That document in the wrong person’s hands would be astronomically dangerous.”

- Courtney Johnston, Metro Nashville Council Member

Among those speculating on why the release appeared stalled, was Joseph Giacalone of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who stated-

 “I think what the FBI is really concerned here with, and I think law enforcement, is that if there is something in there that is truly damaging for the transgender community, I think they are hesitant to do it because they are afraid of a violent backlash against that protected class of people.”

-Joseph Giacalone of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Because it will provide insight into the cause of the shooting, many conservatives have argued the manifesto should be made public, whereas LGBTQ groups have opposed the release on the grounds it could inspire 'copycat' incidents. Time will tell.

In fact, multiple lawsuits have been filed in a bid to make the materials public, mostly against the City of Nashville. One example is Ed Hutchinson, head of The National Police Association, who filed a lawsuit to make the writings and other materials of shooter Audrey Hale public. Also suing MNPD is the Tennessee Firearms Association and retired Hamilton County Sheriff James Hammond.

Reportedly, the MNPD ,on May 3, tweeted that it would not be releasing the materials because an investigation was ongoing. Further they claimed-

“Due to pending litigation filed this week, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has been advised by counsel to hold in abeyance the release of records related to the shooting at The Covenant School pending orders or direction of the court.”

- Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Statement

Since then, on Sunday, the Daily Mail reported that an unredacted copy of the manifesto has been given to “a judge in Nashville,” allowing him to decide on its release. However, according to the outlet, the manifesto, among other writings, may soon be in the hands of the public,

There is reportedly an upcoming hearing for the public, to be able to speak for or against its’ official release. According to the outlet, a county judge and city attorneys will hold a status conference, on Thursday. This is ahead of a June public hearing, scheduled.

One way or the other, there are multiple concerns regarding the possible content of Hale’s manifesto. There is sure to be further debate as to whether these documents become wholly public. With multiple law suits in progress, together with a pending status conference, a public forum to come, with judicial review – not to mention the motion in play by the school itself now, the resolve of this matter could take a while. The truth is coming forth very slowly, however, there are still many questions left unanswered.

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.”

-John Kennedy
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