US Teacher Shot by Six-year-old Student Sues School Administrators for $40m

Tue Apr 04 2023
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Washington: A US teacher in the state of Virginia who was shot by a six-year-old student on Monday sued administrators of the school for $40 million and alleged that they had not taken notice of warnings from staff members and pupils that the young boy had a gun.

Abigail Zwerner was attacked on January 6, and this incident in Newport News was not usual among American school shootings due to the fact that the assailant was very young, and the police stated the boy purposely shot his first-grade teacher.

The complaint specifically alleged that Richneck Elementary School’s Assistant Principal Ebony Parker had failed in her duty to protect Abigail Zwerner despite numerous accounts that a firearm was on the school’s property and believed to be with the boy.

Ebony Parker could not be reached for comment. After the shooting, she had resigned.

Other defendants comprised the Newport News School Board, Richneck’s ex-principal Briana Foster Newton, who was assigned another role in the district, and former schools superintendent George Parker, who was fired by the board following the shooting.

School administrators aware of pupil’s prior attacks

Zwerner further alleged that the school’s administrators were aware of the pupil’s prior attacks on pupils and teachers and even then, allowed the boy to return to the Newport News school in 2022 after he had been removed due to violent behavior.

Officials of the school have confirmed receiving the warnings regarding the boy having a gun at school; however, a search of his belongings prior to the shooting did not find any arms.

Neither a spokeswoman of the Newport News Public Schools nor the lawyers for Parker and Foster were immediately available for comment.

Police hailed the 25-year-old teacher as a hero by police for evacuating pupils from her classroom after being shot by the boy once with a handgun that he had brought from home. The teacher had suffered wounds in the chest and hand.

A Virginia prosecutor stated he would not seek charges against the boy. However, law experts believe the boy’s mother could be held liable if it were to be deduced via evidence that she had not properly secured the handgun in her home.

The boy’s family stated that the handgun he used “was secured” at home and added that he suffers from a disability of acute nature. Furthermore, as part of a school care program, each day, one parent went to classes with him.

The week, when the shooting took place, was the first time when neither of the parents accompanied him in class, the statement said.

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