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Celebrating Childhood: The Last American Photography on Display at a School


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The 200 children enrolled at Covenant School, a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, start each day with a chapel and study the Bible twice a week.

The introductory paragraph from the school’s website reads, “The beauty of Pre-School Six is ​​in its simplicity and innocence.” “Students are free to be children.”

On Monday, that school became the site of the latest mass shooting in the United States, when a 28-year-old former student opened fire with an assault weapon, killing three children and three adults before she was shot dead by police.

Students Evelyn Dechhaus, Haley Scroggs, and William Kenny, all nine years old, were killed. Headteacher Katherine Consey, 60, also died, along with Cynthia Beck and Mike Hill, both 61.

The massacre made a stark and terrible contrast to the pictures of daily life on the school’s website and Facebook page.

The day before the shooting, officials posted to Facebook photos of employees sharing gifts and snacks as they celebrated the imminent birth of the school’s newborn baby helper.

The school also posted a notice that they are looking for two new staff – a Kindergarten Assistant and a Year 4 Teacher. The photos proudly showed the boys competing on the opening day of the school’s first golf season at Cheekwood Municipal Golf Course.

“Go, knights!” The post hailed.

“Great job guys,” one community member wrote.

The private elementary school is affiliated with the Covenant Presbyterian Church, part of an evangelical movement that spun off from the more liberal Presbyterian Church in 1981. It offers enrichment classes in the arts, sciences, technology, leadership, and music.

The school’s motto is “Intentionality, Authenticity, and Curiosity,” according to its website, which is filled with video images of smiling students singing, dancing, and stumbling across a gymnasium. The site says its focus is “to nurture hearts, empower minds, and celebrate childhood.”

Classes are small, the site says, with an average size of 12 students, about a quarter of whom receive financial aid. Tuition starts at $11,500 per year for kindergarten and goes up to $16,500 per year for fifth and sixth grades.

No one answered the phone or responded to emails at the school on Monday.

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