Abigail Zwerner, the Virginia teacher that was shot in her chest by her 6-year-old student, is suing her school’s administrators for $40M. Abigail named several names in her lawsuit, including the School Board of Richneck Elementary School where the incident took place, former schools Superintendent George Parker III, former Richneck principal Briana Foster Newton, and former Richneck vice principal Ebony Parker.
According to the 20-page lawsuit obtained by Tea With Tia, the vice principal was warned multiple times by different teachers on the day of the shooting that the child involved was behaving violently and reportedly had a gun. Specifically, the suit alleges that she breached “her assumed duty” to protect Zwerner, “despite multiple reports that a firearm was on school property and likely in possession of a violent individual.”
In the suit, Zwerner said she now suffers from “physical pain and mental anguish.” New details about the child involved in the incident were also revealed in the suit, including an incident from the prior school year in which the then-five-year-old allegedly strangled and choked a teacher.
He was reportedly removed from Richneck Elementary after the incident, the suit added but was allowed to return for the current 2022-2023 school year.
Other alleged incidents, including inappropriately touching a classmate on the playground during recess, cursing at classmates and teachers, and chasing other children around with a belt and threatening to hurt them, are also noted in the lawsuit.
Due to the child’s repeated violent behaviors, a parent was required to accompany him to school. On the day of the shooting, however, no parent was present.
We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives. Our heart goes out to our son’s teacher and we pray for her healing in the aftermath of such an unimaginable tragedy as she selflessly served our son and the children in the school, the family said in a statement to CNN.
“Teachers’ concerns with John Doe’s behavior was regularly brought to the attention of Richneck Elementary School administration, and the concerns were always dismissed,” Zwerner’s suit alleges. “Often when he was taken to the school office to address his behavior, he would return to the classroom shortly thereafter with some type of reward, such as a piece of candy.”
According to the suit, on the day of the shooting, Zwerner told vice principal Parker that the child was in a “violent mood” and threatening to physically harm another child. Another teacher was told by two students that the child had a gun and told Parker she saw the child with an object in his sweatshirt. The teacher involved also searched the boy’s backpack but did not find a weapon.
A third teacher then allegedly told Parker that the child showed a gun to another child at recess and threatened to “hurt him if he told anyone,” according to the complaint. Another school employee later asked Parker for permission to search the child for the gun but Parker allegedly stopped them.
Zwerner was shot around 1:59 p.m. that day by the child in her classroom while sitting at the reading table.
Zwerner recently talked about the experience and how her life has changed forever.
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