Melissa Joan Hart tearfully recalls helping students get to safety amid Nashville school shooting

This isn't the first time the "Sabrina" star has been in proximity to a school shooting sadly

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published March 29, 2023 6:09PM (EDT)

Melissa Joan Hart (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Melissa Joan Hart (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Melissa Joan Hart took to Instagram on Tuesday to share that she and her husband helped several young students and teachers get to safety amid the Nashville school shooting on March 27.

"My kids go to school right next to a school where there was a shooting today," Hart said in an emotional Instagram video. "My husband and I were on our way to [their] school for conferences. Luckily our kids weren't in today."

She continued, holding back tears, "We helped a class of kindergartners across a busy highway that were climbing out of the woods, that were trying to escape the shooter situation at their school. We helped all these tiny little kids cross the road and get their teachers over there, and we helped a mom reunite with her children."

Hart, who is best known for her roles on Nickelodeon's "Clarissa Explains It All" and ABC's "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," not to mention her Hallmark rom-com career, shared that this hasn't been the first time she was near a mass shooting.

"We moved here [to Nashville] from Connecticut, where we were in a school a little ways down from Sandy Hook," she said, referring to the December 2021 elementary school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.  

"So this is our second experience with a school shooting with our kids being in close proximity," Hart added. "I just don't know what to say anymore. It is just, enough is enough . . . Pray for the families."

The recent school shooting in Nashville occurred at The Covenant School, a private elementary school on the grounds of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville's Green Hills neighborhood. Six people — three children and three staff members — were killed by 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who was a former student at the school. Per NPR, Hale was killed by police within minutes of the first call of an active shooter.

Alongside Hart, several members of Hollywood have spoken out on gun control and against Tennessee's gun laws. Specifically, many criticized Gov. Bill Lee's decision to pass a permitless handgun carry bill, which states that "most adults 21 and older are allowed to carry handguns without first obtaining a permit that requires clearing a state background check and training," per the Associated Press.

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"Can I ask you, @GovBillLee why you passed permit less carry in 2021?" tweeted singer-songwriter Margo Price. "Our children are dying and being shot in school but you're more worried about drag queens than smart gun laws? You have blood on your hands."

Similarly, "Claws" star Niecy Nash took to TikTok to emphasize that children's safety matters more than Tennessee's recent legislation restricting drag shows and critical race theory. 

Nash also shared that the recent shooting hits close to home because her own brother, Michael Ensley, died at age 17 in a 1993 school shooting at Reseda High School in Reseda, California. Nash is a spokesperson for Mothers Against Violence in Schools (MAVIS), which was founded by her mother Margaret Ensley.

"I am so sorry. And my prayers go out to those families, 'cause it's a pain that I don't wish on nobody," she said. "School is the one place where children should be safe. Now, they'll be safe getting on an airplane. But school? That's another thing. And it shouldn't be."

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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Aggregate Mass Shooting Melissa Joan Hart Nashville Sandy Hook School Shooting