Virginia teacher Abigail Zwerner filed a gross negligence suit against administrators at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. The district is considering themselves lucky that she’s only demanding $40 million. At least it’s not a wrongful death case, which would be worth even more. It came real close to being one and their liability seems to be pretty well established, already.
Suit claims gross negligence
This wasn’t a case of “accidental” ordinary negligence, the suit filed on behalf of Virginia teacher Abigail Zwerner charges. The 25-year-old is demanding $40 million in compensation after school administrators allegedly “failed to heed multiple warnings that a 6-year-old student had a gun.”
He used that gun to shoot her during class, back in January. She was critically injured physically and mentally. In the legal complaint, her lawyer went for the school’s jugular.
The suit, filed in Newport News Circuit Court, names “Richneck’s former principal and assistant principal, the Newport News School Board and former superintendent George Parker III.” They’re collectively charged with “gross negligence and failure to report the weapon to authorities.”
Abigail Zwerner, the teacher who was shot and seriously injured by her six-year-old student earlier this year, filed a $40 million lawsuit. She's seeking damages from school officials who allegedly ignored warnings that the boy had a gun in his possession. https://t.co/HSSNA4AkBq
— Yahoo (@Yahoo) April 3, 2023
Everyone across America has been glued to updates in the case. “Parents and teachers accused school district officials of failing to safeguard students and educators against violence in the city’s schools after a string of shootings in recent years.”
Superintendent Parker got his pink slip from the school board long ago. The schools Assistant Principal Ebony Parker quit voluntarily. They are not related, reports confirm. Principal Briana Foster Newton credibly denies personally “receiving warnings about the gun.” She was “assigned to a new job.”
The suit alleges faculty at the school are ready to testify that the school “downplayed warnings” about the dangerous 6-year-old which would have prevented the attempted murder of Abigail Zwerner. It came real close to being more than an attempt.
Three separate warnings
Because the high-profile suit is in progress and only just getting started, nobody associated with the school or the district is willing to comment to the media. The complaint alleges that “concerned teachers and school employees warned Assistant Principal Parker three different times on January 6 that the first-grade student had a gun on him at school.”
Not only that, Zwerner personally “told Assistant Principal Parker in the hours before the shooting that the boy had threatened to beat up a kindergartner.” She specifically warned Parker that the boy was in a “violent mood.”
Parker never even looked up from the work on her desk. “Upon hearing that information, Assistant Principal Parker had no response, refusing even to look up at Plaintiff when she expressed her concerns.” The suit makes a big deal of accusations Parker also failed to act when “repeatedly” told specifically “the boy had a weapon.” He also had a “history of random violence.”
The 6 year old boy who shot his teacher Abigail Zwerner also told his friend that he wanted to set her on fire and watch her die.
So this is why black people say that we are in AmeriKKKa? Because if this kid was black he would be all over the media and labeled as a thug. pic.twitter.com/jghEnM0EMQ
— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) January 21, 2023
The year before, he strangled his kindergarten teacher. He had acted out in class only two days before the shooting. “Two days before the shooting, the lawsuit alleges, the boy smashed Zwerner’s phone and called her and others an inappropriate name.”
According to her suit, at recess, “Zwerner informed another teacher she suspected the shooter had a weapon after seeing him remove something from his backpack.” The other teacher searched the backpack and came up empty, indicating he had already pocketed it. Assistant Principal Parker didn’t want to hear it. The complaint alleges “the other teacher relayed the information to Parker, telling the assistant principal that the boy may have put the gun in his pocket before the search and taken it outside for recess.”
Parker replied “the boy had small pockets insinuating he couldn’t possibly have a gun on him.” She was wrong. “After recess, a student told a teacher that the 6-year-old had shown him a gun while they were on the playground, threatening to shoot him if he told anyone.” That teacher also told Parker. Not only that, “A guidance counselor also warned the assistant principal about the boy possibly having a weapon about 45 minutes before the shooting.” He “asked to search the boy but was rebuffed by Assistant Principal Parker.” At 2:00, he shot her in the chest.