Newport News principal breaks silence after 6-year-old student shot his teacher

Last month, during Briana Foster Newton’s tenure as principal at Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Abby Zwerner, a first-grade teacher in her classroom, was injured by a gunshot.

Attorney Pamela Branch stated at a press conference in Richmond, Virginia that school officials, whose identities remain unknown, were informed about the presence of a firearm in the possession of a 6-year-old student on January 6th but neglected to take any action.

“Mrs. Newton has been assumed to be one of the administrators,” Branch said. “However, this is far from accurate. In reality, all those at Newton Mrs. Were not aware that a student may have had a gun on the premises that day.”

The first public statement provided by Branch administrators has drawn mounting criticism, in an effort to clarify the role of Newton in the shooting incident that occurred.

Within her classroom, Steve Drew, the Police Chief of Newport News, has consistently described the shooting as “deliberate.” Zwerner was hit in the hand and chest by a single bullet discharged by the child without any prior notice or altercation before the child directed the firearm towards her.

Zwerner, 25, hustled her students out of the classroom before being rushed to the hospital, where she stayed for nearly two weeks.

Diane Toscano, lawyer for Richneck staff, said that last month, administrators at the school were concerned about a boy who had a gun and had threatened other students, but no police were called and the boy was removed from class before the shooting occurred.

Toscano stated that she has informed the school board that Zwerner plans to file a lawsuit against the school district.

Parker said that no weapon was found, but the boy’s backpack was searched. At least one administrator at Richneck said that they may have taken a weapon to school based on a tip. George Parker III, the superintendent, took the brunt of the criticism from teachers and parents before he was fired by the school board last month. Then-Superintendent George Parker III faced criticism from outraged teachers and parents.

Newton is still employed by the district, but it was not mentioned what position Newton currently holds as the principal on the school’s website.

Price said that Ebony Parker, the Assistant Principal, has stepped down from the school district.

Karen Lynch, who has served as a principal in Newport News for 17 years, is identified as the administrator of the school. In a recent communication to Richneck families, Lynch mentioned that she was currently engaged in a “special assignment” at the school.

The boy’s attorney, who has been retained, also has the boy’s family. The police have said that the handgun used in the shooting was legally purchased by the boy’s mother. The family has said that the gun had been “secured”. According to James Ellenson, the family’s attorney, the gun was in the woman’s closet on a shelf that was well over 6 feet (1.6 meters) high. The attorney told the Associated Press in January that it was his understanding.

The family stated that this was the initial instance of a shooting occurring without a parent present in the classroom during that particular week. The young boy possesses an “acute disability” and was following a care plan that involved either his mother or father being present at school and accompanying him to his classes on a daily basis, as mentioned by the family.

Richneck returned to school on Monday, a complete three weeks after the shooting took place.