Newport News School Was Warned 3 Times That 6-Year-Old Had a Gun, Lawyer Says 


A new New York Times report has revealed that hours before a 6-year-old boy shot his first-grade teacher in Virginia this month, school leaders were warned three times that the boy might have a gun, a lawyer for the teacher said.

In the same vein, requests from employees to search the boy’s pockets and a report from another child who said that the boy had shown him the gun at recess.

In the fallout of the revelations and already facing mounting pressure from parents and educators, the school board in Newport News, Va., voted to terminate the contract of the superintendent, George Parker III.

“We’re going to have to become a much more student-disciplined and safety-oriented board and division, and that is potentially going to require a lot of new direction,” said Douglas C. Brown, a board member who had been a supporter of Dr. Parker.

The teacher’s lawyer, Diane Toscano, had announced earlier on Wednesday plans to file a lawsuit against the school district, laying out a series of escalating warnings on the day of the shooting, when a 6-year-old boy took his mother’s gun from home, brought it to Richneck Elementary School and fired at his teacher, Abigail Zwerner.

The shooting has raised alarms about the rising risk of gun violence in schools in the United States — now possible even at the hands of a 6-year-old — and led to visceral demands for accountability from parents and educators in Newport News, where administrators at the elementary school have also left.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Toscano, the lawyer, laid out a timeline of events that raised new and troubling questions about the school’s response on the day of the shooting.


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