Nashville Parents Ask: Must a Mass Shooter’s Writings Be Made Public?

Barely two months after an armed assailant fatally shot three children and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville, the lack of information about the motive has led to a bitter legal fight over whether handwritten journals and writings found during a search of the shooter’s home and car should be released to the public.

Caught in between the arguments about the constitutional right to access public records and a political dispute over gun-control legislation are the parents from about 100 families at the Covenant School who have made clear that they want the material to remain locked away, at least until the surviving classmates finish out the school year.

“It is such a heavy burden for them to put themselves back in the middle of all this when they are just trying to heal,” Eric G. Osborne, a lawyer for the families, said at a court hearing on Monday. “Clearly they wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t earnestly believe that the release of these writings…

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This article was written by Emily Cochrane and originally published on