According to Yahoo News, a Richneck, Virginia woman who was shot by a 6-year-old boy in January 2023 has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the Newport News School Board, claiming negligence led to the shooting, according to Yahoo News.
Richneck Elementary was placed under lockdown on Jan. 6, 2023, after Abby Zwerner, a first-grade teacher, was shot in the chest and hand by a child. He reportedly had a gun that belonged to his mother.
Zwerner claims she told the school administration that the boy’s family claimed he had an “acute disability” and threatened another student, but nothing was done.
In January, Diane Toscano, her attorney, stated that “They didn’t call security, they haven’t removed the student from the class, and the school administration failed to act.”
The 20-page complaint contains many of the same allegations as the one before, along with additional information about key people involved in the incidents. The lawsuit alleges that the 6-year-old “had a history involving random violence,” and attacked “students as well as teachers.”
According to a confirmed incident, the boy had “strangled” and choked a teacher before inappropriately touching a girl student who fell on a playground. This resulted in the boy being moved from Richneck Elementary School to the Denbigh Early Childhood Center.
The child returned to elementary school in the first grade. He was then placed on a modified schedule, which required that a parent accompany him to school during the day.
The boy had been “chasing children around the playground with a belt in an attempt to whip them,” and cursing at staff.
According to the legal complaint, “concerns about [the boy’s] behavior were frequently brought to the attention of Richneck Elementary School administration and were never addressed.”
According to the complaint the boy allegedly grabbed the phone of the litigating teacher two days before the shooting and “slammed it on the ground so hard that it cracked and shattered”, before cursing at staffers.
The boy was suspended for one day and then dropped off by his mother on January 6, 2023. However, she did not attend class with him.
According to the lawsuit Zwerner said that Zwerner, a child in a violent mood, threatened to beat up a kindergartener during lunchtime and then angrily stared down security officers on the day of the shooting.
After grabbing a gun from his jacket’s front pocket, Zwerner was sitting at a dinner table when the boy opened fire at her at 2:20 p.m.
One shot went through the left hand of the teacher and into her chest.
The suit names Newport News School Board, Assistant Principal Ebony Park, Briana Foster Newton, and Superintendent as the principal defendants.