In a Virginia elementary school earlier this month, a 6-year-old student is accused of pointing a gun at his teacher and shooting her in the chest. As school officials leave their positions and the district may be sued, the controversy surrounding whether the shooting was avoidable has grown.
Dr. Ebony Parker, assistant principal at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, resigned Wednesday, a district spokesperson told CNN.
The resignation was made just hours before the Newport News school board fired Dr. George Parker III, the superintendent, on February 1. The board has appointed an interim superintendent.
School administrators have come under harsh criticism when a 6-year-old student shot his first-grade teacher, Abby Zwerner, purposely on January 6 after bringing his mother’s lawfully acquired gun to school, according to authorities. According to the boy’s family, he also has a disability.
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The fact that the teacher’s attorney claimed school administrators were informed several times about the gun’s presence on Wednesday added to the frustration over gun violence entering yet another school in the US, where tragic shootings occur almost every day in public areas.
Attorney Diane Toscano told reporters during a news conference on Wednesday that “over the course of a few hours, three different occasions – three times – school administration were alerted by concerned instructors and employees that the youngster had a gun on him at the school and was threatening others.”
The lawyer stated that despite having “knowing of immediate risk,” the administration “failed to act” and that a lawsuit would be brought against the district.
Toscano claimed that on January 6, “Abby and these other teachers at Richneck Elementary School tried to do the right thing.” However, the administration was uninterested. A representative for the school system chose not to comment on the potential lawsuit.
Zwerner, 25, initially had a critical condition but eventually underwent stabilisation before leaving the hospital.
Since the shooting, the school has been shuttered; it will reopen on Monday. A worried dad reported that his kid, who attends the student’s class, has been upset since the shooting as the first day of school approaches.
Mark Garcia Sr. told CNN, “This is a horrible situation, and my son is still afraid.” Most importantly, he just wants to know that he will be safe when returning to school.
Garcia called the alleged inaction by the institution “horrifying.” He declared, “Those who know about this failed us, and they failed the security measures of everyone inside that school.”
The Hours Leading Up To The Shooting
According to data released on Wednesday by the teacher’s attorney, there were some warning indications regarding the pupil before the shooting in Zwerner’s first-grade class.
Toscano claimed that Zwerner reported the 6-year-“threatening old’s to beat up another youngster” to an administrator on January 6 just before 11:30 a.m. Toscano asserted that neither the administration nor security were called to remove the student from class.
Toscano stated that an hour later, at 12:30 p.m., a different teacher informed the administrator that she thought the boy had slipped a gun in his pocket and taken it outside for recess. Toscano claimed that the administrator allegedly “downplayed” the likelihood by remarking that the youngster had “small pockets.”
Later, just after 1 p.m., a third teacher reported to officials that a different student, who Toscano characterized as “sobbing and terrified,” had told her that a 6-year-old had “showed him the pistol at recess and threatened to shoot him if he told anybody.”
The administration later refused a fourth employee’s request to search the boy, according to Toscano. According to the lawyer, the 6-year-old pupil allegedly shot Zwerner an hour later. The school district has been contacted by CNN for comment on Toscano’s assertions.
When Zwerner and the student got into a fight, the student brandished a gun at her and fired one round, according to Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew at the time.
According to the chief, there were no other students involved and no conflict or physical altercation. The youngster was evaluated at a nearby hospital after receiving a temporary detention order.
According to a CNN investigation, the shooting at Richneck Elementary was the first to occur at a US school this year. According to a CNN study, there were 60 shootings at K–12 schools in 2022. Stay tuned to The Express for more updates.