Teacher shot by 6-year-old files $40 million lawsuit against school for ignoring warning signs
In January, Abigail Zwerner, a 25-year-old elementary school teacher from Virginia, attended shot by her 6-year-old studentShe suffered a life-changing injury to her left hand, a collapsed lung, and ongoing emotional trauma. Now, almost three months after the ordealZwerner’s lawyers have revealed that she filed one $40 million negligence lawsuit In response to the ineffectiveness of school district officials, she claims she could have prevented it.
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“I can tell you that in this case there were failings on multiple levels and there were adults in positions of authority who could have prevented this tragedy and did not,” said Diane Toscano, one of Zwerner’s attorneys NBC News.
The defendants named in Zwerner’s lawsuit include the Newport News school board, former Superintendent George Parker III, Ex-Richneck Eelementary SPrincipal Briana Foster Newton and former Deputy Principal Ebony Parker.
Shortly before the shooting, the student, who according to the suit had a “history of indiscriminate violence‘ was banned for a day because he broke Zwerner’s cell phone. The next day, he returned with a 9mm Taurus pistol and opened fire as she sat at a reading table with other students. When the story first made headlines, Police Chief Steve Drew called the shooting premeditated and that the boy had brought it on legally purchased firearm owned by his mother in his backpack.
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Zwerner’s legal counsel alleges negligence occurred when the Newport News school failed to take meaningful action after three teachers contacted administration with concerns about the boy’s behavior problems and speculation that he had a firearm on campus. Days after the shooting, Superintendent George Parker as much as confirmed this to parents during a virtual meeting: “At least one administrator was notified of a possible weapon in the timeline we reviewed and was aware that this student may have had a weapon on campus.” However, Parker claimed that a Find the boy’s backpack did not turn in a gun — a claim Zwerner’s attorneys disputed. Parker has since been released.
Before she was wounded, Zwerner also reportedly wrote to a loved one that the boy was armed and expressed frustration that school officials had yet to step in. In a statement, the boy’s family said he had an “acute disability”. They also claimed that the gun was “secured” in their home and that they “always advocated responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children.”
In her first public interview, Zwerner told TODAY that even after four surgeries and “grueling” occupational therapy, she still hasn’t retained full function of her hand and that doctors are unsure if she ever will.
“But you know, for what I’ve been through, I’m trying to stay positive,” she said. “You know, try to be positive about what happened and where my future is going.”
“The Newport News Schools Department had a duty to Abby,” Toscano said told the Wall Street Journal. “But that day they failed her miserably.”
https://jezebel.com/teacher-shot-by-6-year-old-files-40m-lawsuit-against-s-1850299283 Teacher shot by 6-year-old files $40 million lawsuit against school for ignoring warning signs