The deputy principal of a Virginia school where a six-year-old boy shot and injured his teacher has resigned as the consequences of the incident continue.
First grade teacher Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot and killed by her student at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News on Jan. 6.
Zwerner’s attorney, Diana Toscano, announced Wednesday that Zwerner was suing, saying three school officials warned administration that the child had been in possession of a gun in the hours leading up to the incident.
Another teacher had also warned the six-year-old had left a boy sobbing after showing him the gun – and threatened to shoot him if he told anyone.
Hours after Toscano’s press conference, the resignation of Dr. Ebony Parker, the assistant principal.
dr Ebony Parker, assistant principal at Richneck Elementary, resigned Wednesday. Her resignation came hours after more details emerged about the January 6 shooting of Abbey Zwerner, 25. Zwerner is now suing
It is unclear whether she resigned in protest at the school administration or because of the ongoing investigation into the shootings.
The school last week announced leadership changes and appointed Karen Lynch, a former principal and supervisor of Newport News Extended Learning, to lead the school.
The school principal at the time of the shooting, Briana Foster Newton, remains employed with the district, but Lynch has been assigned to “lead future training and preparation activities for the Richneck staff.”
Earlier Wednesday, it emerged that Zwerner had just finished reading a story when the child drew the pistol and shot her in the chest in front of her first class.
A source close to the investigation told NBC Zwerner sent a message to a loved one that she was “frustrated because she was trying to get help for this kid, for this kid, and then when she needed help, no one came “.
Toscano, the attorney, held a bombastic press conference Wednesday announcing a lawsuit against Newport News Public Schools.
Participants hold their heads in prayer during a Zwerner vigil outside the Newport News Public Schools Administration Building on Monday, January 9th
Messages of support from students for Abbey Zwerner on the front door of Richneck Elementary School Newport News
A third teacher told administration that she searched the boy’s backpack and told them she believed the child had hidden the gun in his pocket.
An administrator is said to have dismissed the concerns, replying: “Well, he has small pockets”.
A fourth teacher asked if he could search the child’s backpack, but was denied, Toscano said at the news conference.
Zwerner also went to school authorities earlier that day to report that the six-year-old had threatened to beat up another student.
Toscano said her client still has the bullet “dangerously” in her body.
She added that Zwerner – who was discharged from hospital last week – is in daily communication with her and is gaining strength every day.
However, Toscano said, “The road to full recovery will be long … and the psychological scars will remain.”
The family of the child – who has not been identified – issued a statement last week claiming the firearm had been “secured”.
They added that the boy “suffers from an acute disability” and is usually accompanied to school by at least one of his parents.
However, the family said the week of filming was “the first week that we weren’t in class with him. We will regret our absence that day for the rest of our lives.’
Police Chief Steve Drew has repeatedly called the shooting “premeditated” and said the boy aimed at Zwerner and fired a bullet that pierced her hand and hit her in the chest.
Zwerner’s attorney Diane Toscano (pictured) held a bombastic news conference on Wednesday announcing a lawsuit against the Newport News Public Schools and claiming that administration officials were told three times by staff that the boy was carrying a gun that day would have
Toscano said: “That day, over the course of a few hours, school officials were warned three times – three times – by concerned teachers and staff that the boy was carrying a gun and was threatening people at school. But the administration could not be bothered’
Abbey Zwerner, 25, had just finished reading a story when the child drew the pistol and shot her in the chest on January 6 at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News
At Wednesday’s press conference, Toscano said: “That day, over the course of a few hours, school officials were warned three times – three times – by concerned teachers and staff that the boy had a gun on him at school and was threatening people.
“But management was undeterred.
“This tragedy was entirely preventable if the school administration responsible for school safety had done their part and taken action when they were aware of an imminent danger.
“But instead they didn’t act and Abbey was shot dead.”
“If they hadn’t been so paralyzed with apathy, they could have prevented this tragedy,” she added.
The lawyer said the first incident of the day happened between 11.15am and 11.30am when Zwerner told a school administrator the six-year-old had threatened to beat up another student.
Toscano said school administrators failed to call security or remove the child from class.
At around 12:30 p.m., another teacher went to a school administrator to tell them that the child was rumored to have brought a gun to school and searched his backpack.
The teacher told the administrator that she believed the boy put the gun in his pocket before leaving for recess.
The administrator is said to have downplayed the teacher’s concerns because the six-year-old had “small pockets”.
Police vehicles are seen parked in front of Richneck Elementary School in Newport News January 6
Crowds of worried parents gathered outside the school after the shooting
The teacher was hailed as a hero in the local community
Just before 1 p.m., Toscano said, a third teacher reported to the administration that another boy came to her in tears and told her that the child showed him the gun at recess and threatened to shoot him if he insults him.
Toscano says the school administration did not follow safety protocols and did not report it to the police.
Concerned about the threat, a fourth employee asked an administrator if he could search the boy. That request was denied, Toscano said.
Principals reportedly dismissed his concerns and said school was almost ready for the day.
Almost an hour later, Zwerner was shot by the six-year-old.
Toscano closed the press conference by stating that the incident was “entirely preventable.”
School district spokeswoman Michelle Price and school board chairwoman Lisa Surles-Law did not immediately respond to calls for comment on Toscano’s allegations.
When asked about Zwerner’s text to her loved one before the shooting, Price told NBC that all of the claims were being “thoroughly investigated.”
Price said: “Everything that has been reported to our school leadership team regarding concerns from teachers and staff at Richneck is part of the investigation. It will be thoroughly investigated.’
The shooting raised questions about school safety and baffled Newport News, a city of about 185,000 about 70 miles southeast of Richmond.
Police previously said the six-year-old’s mother bought the gun legally, but it was unclear how her son gained access to it.
A Virginia law prohibits leaving a loaded gun where accessible to children under 14, an offense punishable by a maximum of one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/assistant-principal-at-the-virginia-school-where-a-6-year-old-shot/ Assistant principal at Virginia school where 6-year-old was shot