According to Yahoo! News, a first-grade teacher who was shot by her 6-year-old student is suing Virginia school authorities for $40 million in damages, alleging gross negligence on their part for allegedly disregarding several warning signs the day before the killing.
Abby Zwerner was wounded in the hand and torso on January 6 while seated at a reading table in her classroom at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News. Following the shooting, Zwerner underwent four operations and spent almost two weeks in the hospital. The complaint claims she sustained irreparable bodily harm, physical suffering, emotional distress, loss wages, and other damages and is requesting $40 million in compensatory damages. Zwerner’s complaint asserts that despite reports that the child had a gun and was in a “violent mood” that day, authorities did nothing to prevent the killing. Zwerner, whose lung had actually collapsed and caused her to almost expire, said she thought she had died. According to doctors, the gunshot could have killed her.
The Newport News School Board and several of district employees, including the former superintendent George Parker III, are named as defendants in the case. Due to his young age, the child was not officially identified and has not yet been accused of the shooting. According to the Associated Press, the school board dismissed the director as a result of the shooting. The school board also decided to buy and mandate transparent backpacks for all kids in addition to installing metal detectors in each of the district’s schools, beginning with Richneck. The defense team for Zwerner asserts that the accused were already aware of the boy’s “history of random violence” at both home and school.
BREAKING: Abby Zwerner, @nnschools first-grade teacher who was shot by her student, is requesting a TRIAL BY JURY.
She has filed a $40M lawsuit against school administrators. The child’s parents are not included in this lawsuit.
— Penny Kmitt (@pennylikeacoin) April 3, 2023
Last month, Newport News prosecutor Howard Gwynn announced the boy would not be criminally charged due to the fact that he wouldn’t understand the legal system. However, Gwynn has yet to rule out charges for the boy’s parents, as he used his mother’s gun. Police did confirm the firearm was purchased legally, and an attorney for the boy’s family said that the gun had been secured on a closet shelf with a lock on it. – Steve Sijenyi