Update from Harding Academy

Dear Harding Academy Learning Community,

In some ways today feels harder than yesterday. This morning, Jay Codispoti and I were talking about hook up and just how different a picture we each have from our respective perches. Jay greets families as they drive past the blue barrel and settle into a drop off box. The children were, for the most part, acting in a fairly typical way as they arrived, opened doors, and headed to class. For me, most of my morning was spent waving to parents who had offloaded their children. Yesterday, parents were blissfully unaware of what was to occur just a couple of hours later. Today, we were all too aware, and I could see it on your faces. But you came, you dropped off your most precious children to us and offered them a “normal” experience of school - with their friends, with their teachers - that three beautiful children and three caring adults don’t have today. Call it an act of normalcy or an act of bravery - I’m just so thankful we have it. 

I pledge to you: we will care for your children, protect them, and keep them as safe as we possibly can. Overall, the kids are engaging in school activities as planned. They are playing on the playground, they are working on their art projects, they are anticipating quizzes and tests and practices. Our counselors are keeping a watchful eye on everyone, and school is happening and it is good. Meanwhile, our faculty and staff, who live on the thin line of having to be present and caring for kids while trying to care for themselves, are making herculean efforts to shepherd our children between the normalcy of the day and the emotions we are all feeling. I am honored to work alongside such a devoted group of educators of whom you should be proud. If you have a moment to let them know - it will mean the world to them. 

I know we are all eager to support The Covenant School community in any way we can. As we wait to know specifics, I wanted to share a fund that has been established at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee from which all proceeds will go directly to those affected by this tragedy. As we learn more ways in which we can be helpful, I will be sure to share with you all.

Finally, several families have inquired whether we should do more, can we do more, and I ask you now to trust that we are investigating every possible avenue and continuing to devote an extraordinary amount of time and resources to the safety of our community. Lt. Carter and the Leadership Team of the school are working behind the scenes to analyze what we know from the tragic events at Covenant yesterday. We are stress testing our current security infrastructure and protocols against this scenario, and while we are confident in how we would perform, we are planning for how we might further enhance our already robust and comprehensive approach to school safety. I mentioned many of those systems and protocols last night, and as we move forward and add more layers, I will be sure to follow up with those as we are able to share. 

Thank you all for your support of Harding Academy.
Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit