Community group advocates anti-gun violence pledge, after multiple weapons brought to MNPS buildings

Gun Violence Pledge
Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-26 10:53:02-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — School has only been back in session here in Nashville for less than two months, and already there have been six incidents where students have brought guns to school. Two of them happened at Whites Creek High School, two others were at area elementary schools.

"They need to stay away from guns, they’re not equipped to handle guns," said Talia Monget Simmons of the AnTwand Covington Jr. Foundation.

Thankfully, none of the six incidents resulted in anyone getting hurt, but Talia knows all too well what happens, when someone does. "The last few months of his life were extraordinary. Prom, graduation, looking forward to going to college. And that stopped for him," said Monget Simmons.

Her son, Antwad Covington was gunned down by another kid his age, who shouldn't have had a weapon. "June 9, 2012 my 17 year old son was going to a Sweet 16 party of a good friend of his. Him and his friends exit the car, some guys that they knew started shooting and my son was murdered," she said.

Ever since, she's committed her life to making sure other mothers don't have to bear this pain. "It starts in our school system. These kids spend eight hours in school. If we’re having guns coming into our school, that’s a problem," said Talia.

So she wants young people to take the following pledge. "I pledge not to touch or pick up a gun. I pledge not to take a gun to school. I pledge not to hang around any peers or friends that have a gun or are playing with a gun," she said.

Along with Partners in the Struggle, Talia took her pledge campaign to the Hartman Park Community Center in North Nashville, hoping to cool down gun violence that only seems to be heating up. "We’re in a state of emergency with gun violence," she said.

The pledge is for young people, but she also has a message for the adults -- be apart of the solution. "We want our state representatives, our governor, our mayor, our police department to know that it’s going to start with us. And we’re here to help not to hurt the problem, so we need everybody to get on board with that," said Talia.

Talia hopes to eventually get her pledge in school districts around the area.