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A memorial has popped up outside the school in Nashville. Photo: video

Area parents, pastor respond to shooting at Christian school

Kansas City area parents are concerned about the safety of their own children following Monday’s deadly shooting at a Christian school in Nashville. According to authorities, the suspected shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, entered the school and shot and killed three children and three adults.

“An individual took weapons and shot and killed children in school where they should be safe,” Tara Bennett of Mom’s Demand Action told KSHB-TV. “I mentioned it to someone who was sitting with me. I said, ‘Oh, there’s been another school shooting today.’ There wasn’t even a response. I think everyone’s numb to it at this point — it’s so common. We don’t have to live like this.”

READ: National Christian leaders offer prayers for Nahsville

Bennett, who has a son in school in the Northland, is pushing for responsible gun owner accountability.

“There hasn’t been a wake-up call,” Bennett said. “Did they obtain them legally? Were they stored safely? Were there red flags? Were there signs they were going to be a danger to themselves or others? That’s really the big picture.”

Luke Johnston, lead pastor at GlenHaven Church in Kansas City, also reflected on the Nashville school shooting. “Sin never fails to surprise me,” he said. “It feels very close to home, particularly being a Presbyterian church.”

He is expanding his leadership by starting a new school this fall, and the security of his church’s campus is top of mind.

“We need to take it seriously for our kids, for our families,” Johnston said. “The No. 1 question I’m asked right now by parents going through the enrollment process is, ‘How safe are you?’ I want to give confidence to parents that schools like ours, because of the horrible things that happened today, we will continue to take security seriously.”

He is working out the safety protocol and is considering volunteer-trained security guards.

“What went through my mind is you’ve got to be a stickler about locking doors, leaving nothing open,” he said. “I’m a big fan of armed trained security at schools. After hearing the news today, I’m not discouraged from starting a school.”

Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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