() — The 6-year-old boy who shot his first-grade teacher at a Virginia school had a history of disturbing behavior, including insulting staff members, trying to hit students with his belt and choking a teacher, according to a legal notice sent to the school board.
The allegations were detailed in a Jan. 24 legal notice by attorney Diane Toscano, who sent the letter to the Newport News School Board to inform officials of a lawsuit that her client, the teacher Abigail Zwernerplans to file against Richneck Elementary School administrators.
The student shot and wounded Zwerner on January 6, leaving her seriously wounded by a bullet that hit her chest. She was released from the hospital more than a week after the attack.
The boy showed some signs of violence, according to the cases described by Toscano in the legal notice. The student’s family previously said the child has a disability.
Two days before the shooting, the student allegedly “hit” and smashed Zwerner’s cell phone and insulted counselors, leading to his suspension, according to the document. After the one-day suspension, he returned to Zwerner’s classroom and shot him.
On the day of the shooting, another teacher overheard Zwerner say that the 6-year-old was in a “violent mood,” had threatened to hit a kindergarten boy at school, and “glared at the security officer.” “, according to the legal notice.
Richneck Elementary School Assistant Principal Ebony Parker was reportedly informed that a weapon was in the school around 12:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting, but instead of calling the police, she “failed to follow proper protocol.” and chose to do absolutely nothing,” the legal notice states. Zwerner was shot around 2 pm, the notification says.
“It is a miracle that more people were not injured,” the legal notice reads. “The attacker spent the entire recess with a gun in his pocket (…), with his hand in that pocket while many first graders played,” the legal notice states.
obtained the legal notice Tuesday from the Newport News School District through a Freedom of Information Act request. The district had no comment beyond providing the document to .
Parker resigned on January 25., nearly three weeks after the shooting and one day after legal notice was sent to the school board. Parker was contacted by Tuesday for comment but did not immediately hear back.
After the shooting, the school closed for about three weeks and returned with additional security measuressuch as metal detectors and transparent backpacks.
The district response did not wait, and the school board voted to remove superintendent, Dr George Parker III. Briana Foster Newton, the former principal of Richneck Elementary School, was reassigned to another placebut the district did not say where.
Pamela Branch, an attorney for Newton, said the former principal was unaware of the weapon at the school.
“The fact is that those who were aware that the student might have had a weapon on the premises that day did not inform Ms. Newton at all,” Branch said.
The school district previously told that it could not comment on whether Newton or anyone else was aware of a possible weapon on campus because that is part of an ongoing investigation.