It has been a week since classes resumed at Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia, and emails between teacher Abby Zwerner and school administrators regarding “behavioral difficulties” with the 6-year-old who reportedly shot her are being revealed.
Zwerner, 25, has been released from the hospital, but reportedly told then-Principal Briana Foster-Newton and then-Assistant Principal Dr. Ebony Parker of two incidents with the boy inside her classroom in an email thread on Nov. 22, 2022, according to WVEC-TV.
“As of today, I do not feel comfortable with him returning to my classroom today[,]” Zwerner wrote in the email obtained by the television station.
Zwerner alleged the boy gave his middle finger to a classmate on Oct. 11. A month later, on Nov. 11, she said he bumped into a classmate and then pushed the classmate to the ground.
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“In another Nov. 22 email, Parker suggests scheduling a conference with the boy’s dad to discuss ‘behavioral difficulties’ and ‘put some things in place to support’ the boy,” WVEC reports.
Last week, a lawyer for Newton said she was not aware of reports that the student had a gun before the shooting occurred.
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“It continues to be reported that unidentified school administrators were aware that the 6-year-old student had a gun at school on January 6 and simply failed to act,” attorney Pamela Branch said during a news conference in Richmond, Virginia.
“Mrs. Newton has been assumed to have been one of those administrators,” Branch said. “However, this is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that those who were aware that the student may have had a gun on the premises that day did not report this to Mrs. Newton at all.”
Diane Toscano, Zwerner’s lawyer, said last month that concerned staff at Richneck warned administrators three times that the boy had a gun and was threatening other students, but that no one called police, removed the boy from class or locked down the school before the shooting occurred.
Toscano said she has notified the school board that Zwerner intends to sue the school district.
The school and district have undergone a lot of shakeups since the shooting.
Superintendent George Parker, who was sharply criticized by parents and teachers after the shooting, was fired by the school board.
Karen Lynch, who has worked as a principal in Newport News for 17 years, is now listed as the school’s administrator.
Assistant Principal Ebony Parker has resigned from the school division, district spokeswoman Michelle Price said.
The boy’s family has an attorney. Police have said the 9 mm handgun used in the shooting was legally purchased by the boy’s mother. The family has said the gun had been “secured.” Their attorney, James Ellenson, said in January that his understanding was that the gun was in the woman’s closet on a shelf well over 6 feet high and had a trigger lock that required a key.
The family also said the boy has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.” The week of the shooting was the first when a parent was not in class with him, the family said.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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