Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old sues for $40 million, accuses school of doing nothing to stop it

It's hard to believe that any school in America these days would shrug off warnings by multiple students and teachers that a student was packing a gun on campus. But that's what administrators at Richneck Elementary School in Virginia allegedly did in January before a 6-year-old shot his teacher, and she is now suing the school for $40 million.

"Teachers' concerns with John Doe's behavior was regularly brought to the attention of Richneck Elementary School administration, and the concerns were always dismissed," first-grade teacher Abigail Zwerner, who was shot with a 9 mm handgun while reading to the class, says in her lawsuit. "Often when he was taken to the school office to address his behavior, he would return to the classroom shortly thereafter with some type of reward, such as a piece of candy."

A year before the shooting incident, the boy had been sent to another school after he was accused of trying to choke and strangle a teacher, and inappropriately touching a girl after lifting up her dress, according to NBC News. But he returned to Richneck in the fall of 2022, and brought the handgun to school on Jan. 6.

And for some bizarre reason, Richneck's principal, former assistant principal, and Superintendent (who have all since left their jobs) decided to act like failed Uvalde cops and do nothing that day, "despite multiple reports that a firearm was on school property and likely in possession of a violent individual," according to Zwerner's complaint.

From NBC News:

Also named as defendants [along with Assistant Principal Ebony Parker] 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. …

Between 11:15 and 11:30 a.m., Zwerner went to the assistant principal and said the student appeared in a "violent mood" and had threatened to physically assault a classmate. According to the complaint, Parker "had no response," and another teacher observed that the administrator "essentially ignored Plaintiff's concerns."

Meanwhile, another teacher was informed by two students that the boy had a gun in his backpack, the suit says. The teacher later informed Parker that she believed the boy had a gun and thought she might have seen him place an object in his sweatshirt pocket during recess and also searched his backpack, but found no weapon. Parker responded that the boy's "pockets were too small to hold a handgun and did nothing," the complaint says.

Then, a third teacher told Parker after 1 p.m. that the boy showed another student the gun at recess, and that student told another teacher the boy "would hurt him if he told anyone," according to the complaint.

A fourth employee had asked Parker for permission to search the boy, but she "forbade" him, according to the suit, saying that the boy's backpack had already been searched and the boy's mother would be arriving to pick him up.