Richneck Elementary Teacher Shot By 6-Year-Old Student Suing School District, Lawyer Says

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The Virginia teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old student at Richneck Elementary School on Jan. 6 is planning to sue the school district, her lawyer announced Wednesday.

Abigail Zwerner sustained serious injuries after being shot by one of her students during class earlier in January. Diane Toscano, Zwerner’s attorney, notified the Newport News School Board that Zwerner plans to sue the school district over the shooting, according to the Associated Press (AP).

“On that day, over the course of a few hours, three different times — three times — school administration was warned by concerned teachers and employees that the boy had a gun on him at the school and was threatening people. But the administration could not be bothered,” Toscano said, speaking during a news conference.

Zwerner allegedly informed a school administrator on the morning of the shooting that the child had threatened to beat up another student, but the school reportedly did not take any action to address the matter. Later that day, another teacher relayed fears the child was possibly armed, telling administrators she believed he had put a gun in his pocket before recess, AP reported. This, too, was dismissed, according to the outlet.

In a third instance, another teacher allegedly approached school administrators claiming a student had been “crying and fearful” after the boy showed a gun to him at recess and threatened to shoot him if he told anyone, AP reported, citing Toscano. When another teacher requested administrators search the boy for a gun, the teacher was reportedly told to “wait the situation out because the school day was almost over,” Toscano said, according to AP.

Zwerner was shot in front of her class roughly one hour later, “all because the school administration failed to act,” Toscano said, according to the outlet. “Were they not so paralyzed by apathy, they could have prevented this tragedy.” (RELATED: Police Praise Teacher For Hustling Students Out Of Room After Getting Shot In Hand, Chest By 6-Year-Old)

“Since the school division’s investigation is ongoing, I cannot comment on the statements presented by Ms. Zwerner’s lawyer at this time,” School district spokesperson Michelle Price told AP. Price did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.

In an earlier statement, the family of the boy accused of shooting Zwerner said he “suffers from an acute disability” that requires him to attend school with the presence of a parent. The week of the shooting was reportedly the first time a parent was not present with the boy in class.

The Newport News School Board held a three-hour meeting earlier in January, in which faculty and parents sharply criticized   policies they said created a toxic work environment for students and educators. Superintendent George Parker III reportedly bore the brunt of their criticism. The Board plans to meet again Wednesday evening to vote on a separation agreement and severance package for Parker, and to vote in an interim superintendent, according to AP.