Seeking Justice: Teacher Shot by Student Plans to Sue Newport News Public Schools

Abby Zwerner, a teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old student at Richneck Elementary, will file a lawsuit against Newport News Public Schools, according to her attorney, Diane Toscano. Several days after Riverside Health System confirmed that Zwerner had been released from the hospital, attorney Diane Toscano made the announcement at the Newport News Marriott at City Center.

Toscano claimed that administrators at Richneck did nothing to address the concerns of several teachers and staff members who had voiced fears for their safety in the days leading up to the shooting. She stated that the tragedy could have been avoided if school officials had acted to protect Zwerner before she was shot. On the day of the shooting, Toscano revealed that staff members had warned administrators three times that the student in question was armed and threatening.

Toscano also updated everyone on Zwerner’s status, calling her “an optimistic, dedicated, and caring elementary school teacher who endured the unthinkable.” She noted that while Zwerner is getting stronger every day and is appreciative of the support from colleagues, students, parents, and others, he still has a long way to go before he is fully recovered.

The family of the student who shot Zwerner, James Ellenson, has issued a statement expressing their condolences and wishing Zwerner a full recovery.




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