Teacher shot by 6-year-old student says district ignored 3 separate warnings before the shooting, will file lawsuit

News & Politics

The teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old student indicated that she will file a lawsuit against the district after her attorney detailed three separate warnings she says the district ignored before the shooting.

Attorney Diane Toscano says her client Abby Zwerner has been released from the hospital after being shot in the chest by a student at Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia.

Toscano said that the first warning came from Zwerner herself who claimed that she told a school administrator that the child had threatened to beat up another student.

“They didn’t call security, they didn’t remove the student from the classroom, the school administration failed to act,” Toscano said.

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A second warning came when a teacher searched the student’s bookbag to look for the gun. That teacher told a school administrator that they believed they saw the 6-year-old student putting a gun in his pocket before going out for recess. That administrator reportedly responded that he had “little pockets,” presumably implying they were too small to hold a gun.

A third warning was missed only one hour before the shooting.

Toscano said that a third teacher went to administrators after a student told them that the boy had shown them a gun and threatened to shoot them if they told anyone. Instead of taking action, administrators reportedly refused permission to search the boy because it was close to the end of the day.

“Tragically, almost an hour later, violence struck Richneck Elementary School,” Toscano continued. “Abby was shot in front of those horrified kids and the school community is living the nightmare all because the school administration failed to act.”

An attorney for the family of the 6-year-old student released a brief statement after the media briefing from Toscano.

“On behalf of the family of the child, we continue to pray for Ms. Zwerner and wish her a complete and full recovery. Our hearts go out to all involved,” said James Ellenson.

The family had previously asserted that the child suffered from an “acute disability” and said they did not know how he got possession of the firearm that was registered to the boy’s mother.

The assistant principal for the school has already resigned while the school board voted to fire the school’s superintendent.

Toscano said that Zwerner’s condition is improving, but added, “the psychological wounds cut deeply and remain fresh, and the psychological scars will be lasting.”

Here’s a video of Toscano’s claims against the district:

Lawyer for Abby Zwerner says administrators were warned 3 timeswww.youtube.com

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