Virginia Richneck elementary school teacher Abigail Zwerner, shot by her 6-year-old pupil has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school administration.
Zwerner is alleging school administrators shrugged off multiple warnings from staff and students who believed the boy had a gun and posed an imminent threat on the day of the shooting, and did so knowing the child “had a history of random violence.”
The news of the January 6 shooting stunned the country as police announced the child’s actions were intentional.
The pupil who cannot be named due to his age, shot the 25-year-old teacher with a 9 mm handgun while she sat at a reading table in their first-grade classroom.
Also named as defendants are the Newport News School Board, former schools Superintendent George Parker III, whom the board voted to remove “without cause,” and Richneck principal Briana Foster Newton, who was transferred to a different role within the district.
Zwerner, who police praised for managing to escort her class of about 20 pupils to safety even after she was seriously wounded in her left hand and chest.
Lawyers for Zwerner said the school leadership knew of at least three separate warnings that the boy was believed to have a gun and some other students reported seeing it.
Zwerner, who spent two weeks in hospital and undergone surgery four times, is seeking a jury trial, noting in her suit that she suffers from “physical pain and mental anguish.”