Teacher’s disturbing message to friend reveals she knew the student was armed an HOUR before the six-year-old boy opened fire
A Virginia teacher who was shot by her six-year-old student texted a loved one before the incident expressing frustration at the failure of school officials, sources say.
Abigail Zwerner sent the text about an hour before she was shot and wounded on January 6, a source close to the situation told NBC News.
In the text, she said the student had claimed to have a gun in his backpack and that the administration at Richneck Elementary School in Newport did nothing.
The source said the text message “showed her frustration” and that “she tried to get help for this kid, for this kid, and then when she needed help, no one came.”
Newport News Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Price confirmed the incident is being investigated.
“Everything that has been reported to our school leadership team regarding concerns from teachers and staff at Richneck is part of the investigation. It’s being thoroughly investigated,” she said.
Zwerner’s attorney, Diane Toscano, held a news conference Wednesday morning, in which she stated that three teachers had gone to the school administration that day about the boy’s behavior.
They also reported that they believed he had a gun on school property.
According to the child’s family, the boy suffers from an “acute ability” that requires one of his parents to accompany him to class.
However, no parents were present on the day of the incident.
Toscano said Zwerner first went to a school administrator between 11:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and reported that the student threatened to beat up a classmate.
A second teacher went to a school administration at 12:30 p.m. and reported that she had searched the six-year-old boy’s backpack and found nothing.
A third teacher told an administrator just before 1 p.m. that the boy had shown another student a gun during recess and “threatened to shoot him if he told anyone,” according to Toscano.
A fourth employee asked an administrator for permission to search the boy, which he was denied. The administrator told the clerk to “wait and see the situation as the school day is almost over.”
Toscano also claimed that the tragedy was “entirely preventable” if the government “had taken action when they were aware of an imminent danger.” But instead they didn’t act and Abby was shot dead.”
Toscano said she plans to sue the school system on Zwerner’s behalf.
The night after the Toscano press conference, the Newport News School Board voted to appoint their Superintendent, Dr. George Parker III, reported WAVY.
The Board decided to appoint the Executive Director for Special Education, Michele Mitchell, during this transitional period.
According to the board chairmen, the decision was “based on the future development and needs of our school department” but did not provide specifics as to why the dismissal took place.
Nonetheless, on behalf of the board, the spokesman wished Parker well and thanked him for his leadership over the past five years.
Zwerner was released from the hospital after the shooting, and her family asked for privacy.
The firearm shot by the child was legally purchased by his family, who “have always advocated responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children,” according to a letter from the parents.
The six-year-old’s family said last week: “We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”
It is unclear how he obtained the gun as the family claimed the gun was locked up on the day of the shooting.
Parents have spoken out about how the incident affected their young children, who were present with a mother who claimed her six-year-old was “traumatized”.
School officials have closed the school and plan to reopen next week.
Teachers and administrators hosted an open house on Wednesday so kids and parents could interact with staff and do some fun activities.
Signs on the sidewalks outside the school offered reassuring messages to students as they prepared to return: “You have this,” “We pray for you,” and “You are loved.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7226653/teacher-abby-zwerner-text-message-shot-by-student/ Teacher’s disturbing message to friend reveals she knew the student was armed an HOUR before the six-year-old boy opened fire