The Virginia teacher who was shot in her classroom by a six-year-old boy has filed a $40million lawsuit against the school, claiming administrators kn
The Virginia teacher who was shot in her classroom by a six-year-old boy has filed a $40million lawsuit against the school, claiming administrators knew how dangerous he was but did nothing to protect her from him.
Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot by the six-year-old boy – who has not been named publicly – on January 6 this year at Richneck Elementary Public School in Newport News, Virginia.
Two days earlier, the same boy had smashed her phone and called her a ‘b***h.’
He was so troublesome that he’d been removed from the school a year earlier after trying to choke a different teacher, and was supposed to be chaperoned by a parent every day.
On January 6, he was dropped off at the school by his mother. He told other children that morning that he had a firearm in his backpack and staff were also told about it.
Rather than remove him from any classes, the school’s administrators allowed him to be around other children and teachers.
Abigail Zwerner, 25, was shot in the hand and chest by the child at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, in January. She is shown above in an interview with TODAY
They checked his backpack for a weapon, but he had already removed it and put it in his sweatshirt, according to Zwerner’s lawsuit.
The vice principal then forbade any teachers from searching the boy himself, according to the lawsuit.
At 1.59pm, he pulled out the gun from his sweater and shot Zwerner in the chest. The bullet hit one of her hands first – which she says saved her life.
Now, she is suing the school for not doing more to protect her and others from the child.
The 20-page lawsuit describes the boy’s past behavior in disturbing detail.
It also claims that his parents would not allow him to attend classes with other special needs kids, despite claiming in the immediate aftermath of the shooting that he has an ‘acute disability’.
‘John Doe had been removed from school during the 2021-2022 school year when he was in kindergarten after he strangled and choked a teacher.
‘Also during the 2021-2022 school year, a female child had fallen on the playground and John Doe came up to her, pulled her dress up and began to touch the child inappropriately until reprimanded by a teacher,’ it reads.
Dr Ebony Parker, vice principal of Richneck Elementary, (right) allegedly ‘forbade’ any teachers from searching the child. The lawsuit also names principal Briana Newton (left) as a defendant
The lawsuit seeks $40million in compensatory damages from the school board and teachers
The lawsuit alleges that after he returned to school, he continued posing a threat and had been caught ‘chasing students around the playground with a belt in an effort to whip them’.
He had also been cursing at staff and teachers.
Two days before the shooting, he ‘grabbed Zwerner’s cellphone’ and refused to give it back.
He then slammed the cellphone on the ground ‘so hard that it cracked and shattered’.
She called security and took him to see the lead teacher but security never came.
Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, where the shooting occurred. Several parents have filed a lawsuit against the school for not protecting their kids
The child then called both female teachers ‘b****es’.
He was suspended for a day, but returned to school on January 6 – the day of the shooting.
Between 11.15am and 11.30am, she complained to the Assistant Principal Dr. Ebony Parker that he seemed to be in a ‘violent mood’ that day and had been threatening to beat up another child.
The assistant principal however did nothing, according to the suit.
Despite her brush with death, Abby says she is excited to return to teaching
The same assistant principal had a reputation for never disciplining kids, and instead rewarding any who came to them with candy.
At 11.45am, two students told a different teacher that the boy had a gun in his backpack.
That teacher approached him and asked him if he had a weapon, the suit says, but he lied. He then refused to give her his bag to check.
The child was then seen removing something from the bag and placing it in his sweatshirt pocket.
When that was reported to the same assistant principal, they said his pockets were too small to hold a handgun.
At around 1.10pm, still concerned that he had the gun on his person, teachers asked for permission to search the boy but the same assistant principal ‘forbade’ them from doing so.
Less than an hour later, he pulled it out of his sweatshirt and shot Zwerner as she read at her desk in front of other terrified students.
The assistant principal resigned earlier this year. The school’s principal, Briana Newton, remains employed by the school district.
School district Superintendent Dr. George Parker III was also fired after the shooting.
It’s unclear if he and Assistant Principal Dr. Ebony Parker are related.