The assistant principal of a school in Virginia where a 6-year-old shot his teacher to death has resigned amid allegations that officials failed to respond to three warnings about a student with a gun on the day of the shooting, The Post has learned.
Dr. Ebony Parker, deputy principal of Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, has resigned, county spokeswoman Michelle Price confirmed. Parker could not be contacted for comment on Wednesday.
On January 6, 25-year-old first grade teacher Abigail Zwerner was shot and killed by her student. Hours before the incident, three school employees alerted school officials that the 6-year-old boy was in possession of a gun, Zwerner’s attorney Diana Toscano said Wednesday. .
Parker is the first known administrator to retire after the shooting.
According to Toscano, one school administrator allegedly told a concerned teacher not to look for the boy’s gun, instead advising “to wait out the situation because the school day is almost over.”
It is not confirmed if Parker is the administrator who gave this advice or if she was warned about the student.
Police said the boy “intentionally” shot Zwerner around 2:00 pm that same day, and the bullet went through her arm and into her chest.
Toscano said the 25-year-old teacher alerted the school at 11:15 am that the boy had threatened to beat up one of his peers.
“Abby Zwerner was gunned down in front of terrified children and the school and community are having a nightmare, all because the school administration has been inactive,” Toscano said, adding that district leaders “are not worried” about taking action.
The Newport News administrator, who asked not to be named, told The Post that Richneck Elementary’s management “failed to keep [Zwerner] safe,” but questioned the resignation.
“As an administrator, our first priority is to ensure the safety of students and staff, any threat must be taken seriously,” the administrator said.
“However, the forced resignation of one of Richneck’s administrators does not address the failure of the county as a whole to put in place procedures to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Police said the boy who shot Zwerner used a gun legally purchased by his mother. It is not clear how he was able to access the weapons. No one has been charged in this incident, and the boy’s family said in a statement through a lawyer that he has an “acute disability”.
The shooting in Richneck was the third case of firearms in the county in the last year and a half.
“From more training to getting more school-level safety equipment, nothing has changed in response to these shootings,” an unnamed administrator told The Post.
“Honestly, I’m tired of going to school under stress, I hope this is not the day when something happens at my school.”