NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A mother of a Covenant student and others broke down in tears in the halls of the Tennessee Statehouse after all audience members were kicked out of a Civil Justice subcommittee meeting for clapping and speaking after being told to stop.
“Being here in general is rough. I don’t think these people get what this means. We are here for six people who were killed in our school. We are just trying to do something,” said Sarah Shoop Neumann. “It is hard to be here. It’s overwhelming…to walk past the Proud Boys. I’m sitting with the [Tennessee Firearms Association] in front of me.”
Neumann continued, “They don’t understand the courage it takes to get up here and sit in those rooms and face those people knowing they don’t agree with you on it but you’ve got to try.”
The co-founder of the nonprofit Covenant Families for Brighter Tomorrows said there is anger on both sides, making it harder for productive conversations. “I know there are big personalities but there are also dead kids and grieving people looking for solutions.”
Before clearing the room completely, Chairman Rep. Lowell Russell (R-Vonore) asked state troopers to remove others from the subcommittee meeting for carrying paper signs.
According to the rules for the special session established Monday, no signs or flags are permitted on the House floor or in committee hearings.