NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia – B hours before 6-year-old man shot at firstteacher in Virginia this month, school leaders were alerted to three times that a boy can have a gun lawyer for the teacher said on Wednesday, including another child’s school account who with tears in his eyes said that the boy had shown him gun at a break.
Lawyer Diane Toscano, announced teacher’s intention to sue against school district in Newport News, Virginia, laying out a series of escalation of warnings that unfolded on day of shooting when the police say 6-year-old boy took his mothers gun from home brought him to Richneck Primary School and shot his teacher Abigail Zwerner.
The shooting shocked the community, raised the alarm about rising gun violence in schools in USA and led to intuitive requirements for accountability from parents and teachers in Newport News where the school is located board meet to decide fate of superintendent on Wednesday evening.
press secretary for Newport News Public Schools declined to comment on attorney’s statement and deadlines of events, citing an ongoing investigation.
In a day of shooting, the teacher searched the boy’s backpack, believing he might have gunsaid Ms. Toscano. Not gun was found, but around 12:30 the teacher informed the school administration that, in her opinion, the boy had put gun in your pocket before leaving outside for break. Instead of of while searching the boy, Ms. Toscano said, the receptionist dismissed the threat, stating that 6-year-old “has small pockets”.
Around 1:00 p.m.—about an hour before the shooting—another teacher reported that student came to the teacher in tears and said that 6-yearthe old one showed him gun at recess and threatened to shoot student if student said to anyone said Ms. Toscano.
“What did the admins do?” Miss Toscano said news the conference on environment where she announced plans file a lawsuit. “And administrators call police? No. Admins blocked down school? No. Have administrators evacuated building? No. Did they resist student? Not.”
Third employee asked for “Let me search the boy,” said Miss Toscano, but she was told to wait, because the school day was almost over.
Around 14:00 in front of his classmates in their first grade, the boy pointed to gun at Ms. Zwerner and opened fire, police said.
Ms Zwerner, aged 25, was shot to death in chest and bullet remains settled in her body, according to her lawyer, who said her client is starting a long journey of physical and psychological recovery.
“Three weeks ago Abby was fun young woman with a big heart and loved learning young people – she was very bright future and the career she loved,” Ms Toscano said. “Today she is between operations and physiotherapy sessions, with career in question. How could anyone find the courage to be confident face Class of pupils again?
Case – which sits on the nexus of weapons, mental health and public education in America brought out raw emotions in Newport News where parents and employees complained to the school board last a week of growing behavioral problems among students in district and of their fears over school shootings. In September 2021, two 17-year- old people were injured in shooting at Heritage High School; two months later, 17-yearthe old one was killed outside Menchville High School.
All over the country, schools have faced surge in behavioral problems and mental health challenges among children during a pandemic. Number of school shootings also was on in rise.
Case also brings out the tension over how schools can serve students with severe behavioral and emotional needs, also supporting teachers and education for all students.
family of 6-year-old said that he had an “acute disability” and that his mother or father used to go to school with him every day. A week of shooting – just after the holidays – first the time when parent was not in Class with he, family said.
student previously threatened light teacher on fire and, in one incidents, throwing furniture and other items in class, leaving the other students scared, according to The Washington Post. In a day of shooting, Ms Zwerner reported to the school that the boy had threatened to beat up another child, her lawyer said.
Many questions remain unanswered, including how Surely the boy could access to the gun and whether parent fees may apply.
The police stated that gun was legally purchased by a child mother. Lawyer for in familyJames Ellenson, said that gun was saved in top shelf of in the mother’s closet in the bedroom, and what gun was provided trigger lock.
Virginia law prohibits leaving a loaded gun where is it available for children up to 14 years old, and crime it is punishable as a misdemeanor.
“On behalf of of in family of baby we keep on praying for Ms Zwerner and wish her complete and full recoveryMr Ellenson said. in statement on Wednesday. “Our hearts go out to everyone involved.”
this is also it is not clear who knowledge in school of warnings. Richneck Elementary School, which was closed after the shooting, has new administrator who is leading school opening.
School district officials announced plans earlier this month to install metal detectors in all school buildings, but community called quickly for more – and demanded accountability above. School board a meeting is scheduled for Wednesday evening to vote on termination of the contract for Superintendent George Parker III.
Last week in a crowded school board meeting, emotions spilled out over as parents and employees released their fears – over destructive student behavior and need for more discipline; a culture that they say doesn’t listen to employees and families; absence of Resources for pupils struggling with behavioral challenges; and possibly most of everything, the daily fear of not being children will be safe at school.
One mother holding back sobs into microphone, describes asking school district about safety after shooting in Uvalde, Texas last year and described terror her children feel during liveshooting practice at school.
“My 7-year-old daughter says that she is sitting with her head down and crying,” she said, “because she wonders if she can hug her mom again”.