NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Lawyers representing the Virginia teacher who was shot by her 6-year-old student said Monday morning on NBC News’ “Today” show that they filed a $40 million lawsuit against Newport News Public School officials.
It has been almost three months since Abby Zwerner was shot in her first-grade classroom at Richneck Elementary School.
According to Zwerner’s lawyers, the lawsuit, filed in Newport News Circuit Court, alleges gross negligence and reckless breach of duty against the school board and three former administrators at the school.
The three administrators named in the lawsuit are former Principal Briana Foster-Newton, former Superintendant Dr. George Parker and former Assistant Principal Dr. Ebony Parker.
Zwerner’s lawyers allege that the Jan. 6 shooting was a personal attack and that the school board and administrators failed to protect the teacher against the student despite multiple warnings.
Virginia trial lawyer Diane Toscano announced in January that she sent a notice to NNPS with the intent to file a lawsuit on Zwerner’s behalf. Toscano said the school administration was warned three times by teachers and employees that the 6-year-old had a gun at school.
During the “Today” interview, Zwerner’s attorneys said the lawsuit alleges that the boy had strangled a teacher a year prior to the incident. They also said the child’s parents had expressed how they didn’t want him in special education.
NBC News reported early last month that the Virginia Commonwealth’s attorney said the boy who shot Zwerner will not face charges.
Lawyers for former principal Briana Foster-Newton said she was not made aware that the boy had a gun on the day of the shooting. The other administrators named in the lawsuit have yet to comment.
Zwerner spoke for the first time last month in an exclusive interview on “Today,” saying she will never forget the look on the student’s face when he pointed the gun at her.
“That’s something that I will never forget. It’s changed me. It’s changed my life,” she said.