Hawley Introduces Resolution Condemning The Covenant School Shooting as a Hate Crime

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Following the senseless and targeted attack on Christian children and adults at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn., U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced a resolution condemning the deadly shooting as a federal hate crime.

“This murderous rampage, this taking of innocent life, was a horrific crime. But more specifically, it was a hate crime,” said Senator Hawley. “It is a crime under federal law to target and commit acts of violence against Americans because of their religious beliefs, because of their religious affiliation, or because of their religious practices. This should not happen in the United States of America, and now we must act to see that it does not spread.” 

Senator Hawley also delivered remarks on the U.S. Senate floor today, urging Congress to pass his resolution condemning the violence against The Covenant School.

Earlier today, Senator Hawley sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling for an investigation into the deadly shooting.

The text of the resolution can be found here or below. 


Whereas, on March 27, 2023, a deranged individual tragically and violently opened fire at The Covenant School, a religious institution in Nashville, Tennessee, that is part of the Covenant Presbyterian Church; 

Whereas this heinous act resulted in the death of 3 innocent students, namely Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney; 

Whereas 3 dedicated school employees, Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, and Michael Hill, also tragically lost their lives in the line of duty; 

Whereas Federal law explicitly prohibits violence against people of the United States on the basis of religious affiliation or belief; 

Whereas this reprehensible act of violence targeted a Christian institution, its students, and its employees; 

Whereas the Senate acknowledges and honors the bravery and sacrifice of the first responders, law enforcement officers, and medical personnel who responded to this tragic event; 

Whereas the Senate extends its deepest condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims and the entire community of The Covenant School; and 

Whereas the Senate recognizes that the United States must continue to work to prevent hate crimes, protect religious liberties, and ensure the safety and security of all people of the United States: Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the Senate— 

     (1) strongly condemns the horrific act of violence that occurred at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 27, 2023, and recognizes it as a hate crime targeting Christians; 

     (2) honors the memory of the victims, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, and Michael Hill, and extends its heartfelt condolences to their families, friends, and the entire community of The Covenant School; 

     (3) expresses gratitude and appreciation for the bravery and selflessness displayed by the first responders, law enforcement officers, and medical personnel who responded to the tragic event; 

     (4) calls on all people of the United States— 

          (A) to unite in the face of such hatred and violence; and 

          (B) to stand in solidarity with those who have been affected by this tragedy; 

     (5) condemns hateful rhetoric that leads to violence; and 

     (6) reaffirms its commitment to uphold the values of tolerance, religious freedom, and justice for all, as enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.