Another School Shooting

spaminator

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Virginia teacher Abigail Zwerner shot by 6-year-old student hires attorney
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Denise Lavoie
Published Jan 24, 2023 • 2 minute read

RICHMOND, Va. — The first-grade teacher from Virginia who was shot and seriously wounded by a 6-year-old student has hired a trial attorney to represent her.


Diane Toscano, the founder of the Toscano Law Group in Virginia Beach, said in a media advisory Tuesday that she plans to share an update on the Newport News teacher, Abigail Zwerner, and release new information about the Jan. 6 shooting on Wednesday.


The advisory said Toscano will also “address next steps” but did not specify whether Zwerner plans to file a lawsuit against the Newport News school district or school administrators. Toscano did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Police say Zwerner, 25, was shot by a student in her class as she was teaching at Richneck Elementary School. Police Chief Steve Drew has repeatedly characterized the shooting as “intentional,” saying the boy had the gun “on his person,” aimed the gun at Zwerner and fired one round, striking her in the hand and chest.


Zwerner was hospitalized for nearly two weeks but has been released and is continuing her recovery on an outpatient basis, a hospital spokesperson said.

Toscano’s media advisory said Zwerner will not attend the news briefing Wednesday.

Toscano is a former prosecutor who worked in the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office from 2006 to 2009. Her law firm handles criminal defense cases and civil litigation.

Earlier this month two of her clients — former college football players who claimed they were repeatedly hazed and sexually assaulted by older teammates — settled a federal lawsuit against Norfolk State University.

Newport News Superintendent George Parker III has been sharply criticized by parents and teachers who have called for his resignation or firing.


Six days after the shooting, Parker revealed that at least one administrator had been told the day of the shooting that the boy may have had a weapon. He said the student’s backpack was searched, but none was found.

Police have said school officials did not tell them about that tip before the shooting, which happened hours later.

The gun was legally purchased by the boy’s mother, according to police. In a statement last week, the family said the gun was secured. Attorney James Ellenson told The Associated Press that according to his understanding, it was in the woman’s closet on a shelf well over 6 feet high and had a trigger lock requiring a key.

The family also said in its statement that the boy has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.”


The week of the shooting was the first when a parent was not in class with him, the family said, adding, “We will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.”

During a raucous school board meeting, teachers and parents said administrators had been dismissive of repeated complaints about misbehavior. They said students who assaulted classmates and staff were routinely allowed to stay in the classroom with few consequences due to a misguided emphasis on attendance and other education statistics.
 

spaminator

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Admins were warned 3 times on day 6-year-old boy shot teacher: Lawyer
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Denise Lavoie
Published Jan 25, 2023 • 5 minute read

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Concerned staff warned administrators at a Virginia elementary school three times that a 6-year-old boy had a gun and was threatening other students in the hours before he shot and wounded a teacher, but the administration “was paralyzed by apathy” and didn’t call police, remove the boy from class or lock down the school, the wounded teacher’s lawyer said Wednesday.


Later in the day, the school board voted to fire school district superintendent George Parker III as part of a separation agreement that will pay Parker a little over $502,000 in severance — two years of his current base salary of $251,000. Parker has been sharply criticized by parents and teachers since the Jan. 6 shooting.


Diane Toscano, an attorney for Abigail Zwerner, said during a news conference that she has notified the school board in Newport News that the 25-year-old teacher at Richneck Elementary School plans to sue the school district over the shooting, which left Zwerner with serious injuries.

“On that day, over the course of a few hours, three different times — three times — school administration was warned by concerned teachers and employees that the boy had a gun on him at the school and was threatening people. But the administration could not be bothered,” Toscano said.


She said that Zwerner first went to an administrator at around 11:15 a.m. on the day of the shooting and said the boy had threatened to beat up another child, but no action was taken.

About an hour later, another teacher went to an administrator and said she had taken it upon herself to search the boy’s bookbag, but warned that she thought the boy had put the gun in his pocket before going outside for recess, Toscano said.

“The administrator downplayed the report from the teacher and the possibility of a gun, saying — and I quote — ‘Well, he has little pockets,’ ” Toscano said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., another teacher told an administrator that a different student who was “crying and fearful” said the boy showed him the gun during recess and threatened to shoot him if he told anyone. Again, no action was taken, she said.


When another employee who had heard the boy might have a gun asked an administrator to search the boy, he was turned down, Toscano said.

“He was told to wait the situation out because the school day was almost over,” she said.

About an hour later, “Abby Zwerner was shot in front of those horrified kids, and the school and community are living the nightmare, all because the school administration failed to act,” Toscano said.

“Were they not so paralyzed by apathy, they could have prevented this tragedy,” she said.

School district spokesperson Michelle Price declined to comment.

“Since the school division’s investigation is ongoing, I cannot comment on the statements presented by Ms. Zwerner’s lawyer at this time,” Price wrote in an email.


The shooting raised questions over security at the school and stunned Newport News, a city of about 185,000 people roughly 70 miles (113 km) southeast of Richmond.

Parker’s departure had been expected since a school board agenda was posted Tuesday showing that the panel was set to vote on his separation package. The separation and severance agreement says the board has decided to “terminate the Contract and Superintendent’s employment.”

The board voted 5-1 in favour of the agreement after several members praised Parker’s past performance as superintendent.

Board member Gary Hunter delivered a long defence of Parker as some members of the audience sighed and told him to “move on.” Hunter said he thought Parker was being unfairly blamed for the shooting and said the real problem is the lack of “commonsense gun laws.”


“Getting rid of someone is not going to fix this particular problem,” Hunter said.

As part of the agreement, board Chair Lisa Surles-Law read a statement in which the board said the decision to terminate Parker was made “without cause” and that Parker “is a capable division leader” who has served the school district for almost five years “through some extremely challenging circumstances.”

Parker has said that at least one administrator was told on the day of the shooting that the boy might have a weapon, but no weapon was found when his backpack was searched. Police have said that school officials did not tell them about that tip before the shooting, which happened hours later.

Cindy Connell, a middle school teacher in Newport News, called the events described by Toscano “beyond horrifying.”


“This is just another example of administrators not listening to the concerns of teachers, and the only reason we’re talking about this one is because Abby Zwerner got shot,” Connell said.

“I think any administrator that was told repeatedly that this child has a weapon, we think this child has a weapon — anyone who knew about this situation and did nothing should lose their job.”

Police Chief Steve Drew has repeatedly characterized the shooting as “intentional,” saying the boy aimed at Zwerner and fired one round, striking her in the hand and chest. Zwerner was hospitalized for nearly two weeks but is now recovering at home, Toscano said.

“The road to full recovery will be long … and the psychological scars will be lasting,” Toscano said.


The boy’s mother legally purchased the gun used in the shooting, police said. The boy’s family said in a statement last week that the gun was “secured.” The family’s attorney, James Ellenson, told The Associated Press that his understanding was that the gun was in the woman’s closet on a shelf well over 6 feet (1.8 metres) high and had a trigger lock that required a key.

The family also said in its statement that the boy has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.” The week of the shooting was the first when a parent was not in class with him, the family said.

James Ellenson, an attorney for the boy’s family, released a statement Wednesday saying they “continue to pray for Ms. Zwerner and wish her a complete and full recovery.”


“Our hearts go out to all involved,” Ellenson said.

The school, which has been closed since the shooting, is scheduled to reopen next week. Karen Lynch, a longtime principal in the Newport News school district, has been named as an “administrator on special assignment” at Richneck, Lynch said in a note to parents on Monday.

Ahead of the reopening, administrators and teachers held an Open House at the school Wednesday for students and their families to visit staff and participate in activities. Signs along the sidewalks in front of the school offered reassuring messages to the students: “You’ve got this,” “We are Praying for You” and “You are Loved.”

— Associated Press reporter Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland, contributed to this report.
 

spaminator

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Virginia school principal unaware boy had gun before teacher shot: Lawyer
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Ben Finley
Published Feb 02, 2023 • 3 minute read

The former principal of the Virginia elementary school where a 6-year-old shot his teacher was not aware of reports that the student had a gun before the shooting occurred, her lawyer said Thursday.


Briana Foster Newton was principal at Richneck Elementary in Newport News last month when first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner was shot and wounded in her classroom.


“It continues to be reported that unidentified school administrators were aware that the 6-year-old student had a gun at school on January 6 and simply failed to act,” attorney Pamela Branch said during a news conference in Richmond, Virginia.


“Mrs. Newton has been assumed to have been one of those administrators,” Branch said. “However, this is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that those who were aware that the student may have had a gun on the premises that day did not report this to Mrs. Newton at all.”

Branch provided the first public statement from Newton since the shooting occurred and sought to clarify Newton’s role in an incident that has drawn mounting criticism of the school’s administrators.


Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew has repeatedly characterized the shooting as “intentional.” He said there was no warning and no struggle before the child pointed the gun at Zwerner and fired one round, striking her in the hand and chest inside her classroom.

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

Diane Toscano, Zwerner’s lawyer, said last month that concerned staff at Richneck warned administrators three times that the boy had a gun and was threatening other students, but that no one called police, removed the boy from class or locked down the school before the shooting occurred.

Toscano said she has notified the school board that Zwerner intends to sue the school district.


Then-Superintendent Gary Parker took the brunt of criticism from outraged parents and teachers. Before the school board fired him last month, Parker said at least one administrator at Richneck received a tip that the boy may have taken a weapon to school. Parker said the boy’s backpack was searched but that no weapon was found.

Newton is no longer listed as the principal on the school’s website. Michelle Price, a spokesperson for the school district, said last month that Newton is still employed by the district, but she did not say what position Newton now holds.




Assistant Principal Ebony Parker has resigned from the school division, Price said.

Karen Lynch, who has worked as a principal in Newport News for 17 years, is now listed as the school’s administrator. In a letter to Richneck families this week, Lynch said she was working “on special assignment” at Richneck.

The boy’s family has also retained an attorney. Police have said the 9 mm handgun used in the shooting was legally purchased by the boy’s mother. The family has said the gun had been “secured.” Their attorney, James Ellenson, told The Associated Press in January that his understanding was that the gun was in the woman’s closet on a shelf well over 6 feet (1.8 meters) high and had a trigger lock that required a key.

The family also said the boy has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.” The week of the shooting was the first when a parent was not in class with him, the family said.

Richneck resumed class on Monday, a full three weeks after the shooting occurred.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Then-Superintendent Gary Parker took the brunt of criticism from outraged parents and teachers. Before the school board fired him last month, Parker said at least one administrator at Richneck received a tip that the boy may have taken a weapon to school. Parker said the boy’s backpack was searched but that no weapon was found.
That's because the order was so strange. Security personnel in the Confederacy search children's backpacks for books, not guns. Guns are regarded as innocent toys patriotic kids should have in Dixie.
 

spaminator

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Boy who shot teacher allegedly tried to choke another
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Denise Lavoie and Ben Finley
Published Feb 06, 2023 • 5 minute read

RICHMOND, Va. — A 6-year-old Virginia boy who shot and wounded his first-grade teacher constantly cursed at staff and teachers, tried to whip students with his belt and once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe,” according to a legal notice filed by an attorney for the wounded teacher.


The incidents were described in a notice sent to the Newport News school district by Diane Toscano, an attorney for teacher Abby Zwerner, informing the district that Zwerner intends to sue. The notice of claim, which was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, outlines prior behavioral issues the boy had at Richneck Elementary School and troubling interactions he had with teachers and students.


Two days before the shooting, the boy allegedly “slammed” Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it, according to the claim notice. He was given a one-day suspension, but when he returned to Zwerner’s class the following day, he pulled a 9mm handgun out of his pocket and shot her while she sat at a reading table, the notice says.


“It is a miracle that more people were not harmed,” Toscano wrote in her notice. “The shooter spent his entire recess with a gun in his pocket, a gun that was loaded and ready to fire … while lots of first-grade students played.”

The choking incident described in the notice was confirmed by the teacher. She said that in 2021, the boy came up behind her as she sat in a chair in the front of the class, locked his forearms in front of her neck and pulled back and down, hard. She said a teaching assistant pulled the boy off her.

The teacher requested anonymity because she fears potential retaliation from the school district. She said she reported the incident to school administrators, but did not receive the kind of supportive response she had hoped for from them.


“I didn’t feel safe the rest of the year because I knew if they didn’t protect me when he choked me and I couldn’t breathe, then they wouldn’t protect me, my kids or my colleagues if he did something not as harmful,” she told The Associated Press.

The boy was later moved into another class in another school.

After the shooting, police said the boy was taken to a medical facility where he is receiving unspecified services.

The legal notice sent fleshed out Zwerner’s allegations of negligence at Richneck on the morning of Jan. 6, which Toscano had first outlined last month at a news conference.

A detailed timeline describes how Zwerner, three other teachers and a guidance counsellor were involved in airing concerns about the child possibly having a gun.


“If Assistant Principal (Ebony) Parker had acted on the information she was provided, then the shooting of Ms. Zwerner would not have happened,” the notice stated.

Zwerner went to former Assistant Principal Parker’s office at about 11:15 a.m. “to advise her that the shooter seemed more ‘off’ than usual and was in a violent mood.” It also says the boy had threatened to beat up a kindergarten student and “angrily stared down” the school security officer in the lunch room.

At about 11:45 p.m. another teacher learned that the boy had told students he had a gun in his backpack, the notice stated. The teacher searched the backpack at about 12:30 p.m. but found no gun.




The same teacher “was made aware that the shooter had taken something out of his backpack right before she searched the shooter’s backpack, and the shooter put it in the pocket of his hoodie before going out to recess,” the notice stated.

When that teacher raised concerns to Parker, the assistant principal said the student “had small pockets, insinuating that he could not possibly have a gun on his person,” the notice of claim stated.

“Assistant Principal Parker should have called police,” the notice stated. “Instead, she did not follow proper protocol and chose to do absolutely nothing.”

Shortly after 1 p.m., a third teacher learned from a student in Zwerner’s class that the shooter showed him the gun during recess and threatened to shoot him if he told anyone, the notice stated.

That teacher called the school’s office and shared what she knew with a fourth teacher who picked up the phone, the notice stated. The fourth teacher relayed the information to Parker, who said she was aware of the threat and that the student’s backpack had been searched.

The third and fourth teachers conferred again. And the fourth teacher returned to Parker’s office, where a guidance counsellor was raising similar concerns about the student having a gun, the notice stated.

The guidance counsellor asked if he could search the child for a weapon, to which Parker said “no” because the child’s mother was arriving soon to pick him up, the notice stated.

“Then approximately 45 minutes later Ms. Zwerner was shot in her left hand and upper chest by the shooter,” the notice stated. “Ms. Zwerner was sitting at her reading table when the shooter, who was sitting at his desk, pulled the gun out of his pocket and shot her one time.”

Parker, who resigned from her position last month, could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the school district said she did not know if Parker has retained an attorney.

Len Wallin, director of legal services for the school system, said in an email that it’s standard practice for the school division to forward notices of intent to sue to its insurer, which handles such litigation.

Wallin said the district’s insurer will handle decisions regarding whether it will represent Parker or not “after consultation with the school board, if that is necessary.”

In the meantime, Toscano wrote in her notice that Zwerner’s is continuing to recover physically and from psychological wounds that “cut deeply and remain fresh.”

“It is my hope that the school district will not want to drag Ms. Zwerner through litigation after the trauma she has sustained,” Toscano wrote.

“The response from the school district is going to be very important and will shed light on how it views its teachers,” Toscano continued. I hope that the school district will not send a message that being shot while teaching a lesson in class by a student is merely a hazard of the job.”

— Finley reported from Norfolk, Virginia.
 

Serryah

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Dec 3, 2008
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New Brunswick
Boy who shot teacher allegedly tried to choke another
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Denise Lavoie and Ben Finley
Published Feb 06, 2023 • 5 minute read

RICHMOND, Va. — A 6-year-old Virginia boy who shot and wounded his first-grade teacher constantly cursed at staff and teachers, tried to whip students with his belt and once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe,” according to a legal notice filed by an attorney for the wounded teacher.


The incidents were described in a notice sent to the Newport News school district by Diane Toscano, an attorney for teacher Abby Zwerner, informing the district that Zwerner intends to sue. The notice of claim, which was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, outlines prior behavioral issues the boy had at Richneck Elementary School and troubling interactions he had with teachers and students.


Two days before the shooting, the boy allegedly “slammed” Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it, according to the claim notice. He was given a one-day suspension, but when he returned to Zwerner’s class the following day, he pulled a 9mm handgun out of his pocket and shot her while she sat at a reading table, the notice says.


“It is a miracle that more people were not harmed,” Toscano wrote in her notice. “The shooter spent his entire recess with a gun in his pocket, a gun that was loaded and ready to fire … while lots of first-grade students played.”

The choking incident described in the notice was confirmed by the teacher. She said that in 2021, the boy came up behind her as she sat in a chair in the front of the class, locked his forearms in front of her neck and pulled back and down, hard. She said a teaching assistant pulled the boy off her.

The teacher requested anonymity because she fears potential retaliation from the school district. She said she reported the incident to school administrators, but did not receive the kind of supportive response she had hoped for from them.


“I didn’t feel safe the rest of the year because I knew if they didn’t protect me when he choked me and I couldn’t breathe, then they wouldn’t protect me, my kids or my colleagues if he did something not as harmful,” she told The Associated Press.

The boy was later moved into another class in another school.

After the shooting, police said the boy was taken to a medical facility where he is receiving unspecified services.

The legal notice sent fleshed out Zwerner’s allegations of negligence at Richneck on the morning of Jan. 6, which Toscano had first outlined last month at a news conference.

A detailed timeline describes how Zwerner, three other teachers and a guidance counsellor were involved in airing concerns about the child possibly having a gun.


“If Assistant Principal (Ebony) Parker had acted on the information she was provided, then the shooting of Ms. Zwerner would not have happened,” the notice stated.

Zwerner went to former Assistant Principal Parker’s office at about 11:15 a.m. “to advise her that the shooter seemed more ‘off’ than usual and was in a violent mood.” It also says the boy had threatened to beat up a kindergarten student and “angrily stared down” the school security officer in the lunch room.

At about 11:45 p.m. another teacher learned that the boy had told students he had a gun in his backpack, the notice stated. The teacher searched the backpack at about 12:30 p.m. but found no gun.




The same teacher “was made aware that the shooter had taken something out of his backpack right before she searched the shooter’s backpack, and the shooter put it in the pocket of his hoodie before going out to recess,” the notice stated.

When that teacher raised concerns to Parker, the assistant principal said the student “had small pockets, insinuating that he could not possibly have a gun on his person,” the notice of claim stated.

“Assistant Principal Parker should have called police,” the notice stated. “Instead, she did not follow proper protocol and chose to do absolutely nothing.”

Shortly after 1 p.m., a third teacher learned from a student in Zwerner’s class that the shooter showed him the gun during recess and threatened to shoot him if he told anyone, the notice stated.

That teacher called the school’s office and shared what she knew with a fourth teacher who picked up the phone, the notice stated. The fourth teacher relayed the information to Parker, who said she was aware of the threat and that the student’s backpack had been searched.

The third and fourth teachers conferred again. And the fourth teacher returned to Parker’s office, where a guidance counsellor was raising similar concerns about the student having a gun, the notice stated.

The guidance counsellor asked if he could search the child for a weapon, to which Parker said “no” because the child’s mother was arriving soon to pick him up, the notice stated.

“Then approximately 45 minutes later Ms. Zwerner was shot in her left hand and upper chest by the shooter,” the notice stated. “Ms. Zwerner was sitting at her reading table when the shooter, who was sitting at his desk, pulled the gun out of his pocket and shot her one time.”

Parker, who resigned from her position last month, could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the school district said she did not know if Parker has retained an attorney.

Len Wallin, director of legal services for the school system, said in an email that it’s standard practice for the school division to forward notices of intent to sue to its insurer, which handles such litigation.

Wallin said the district’s insurer will handle decisions regarding whether it will represent Parker or not “after consultation with the school board, if that is necessary.”

In the meantime, Toscano wrote in her notice that Zwerner’s is continuing to recover physically and from psychological wounds that “cut deeply and remain fresh.”

“It is my hope that the school district will not want to drag Ms. Zwerner through litigation after the trauma she has sustained,” Toscano wrote.

“The response from the school district is going to be very important and will shed light on how it views its teachers,” Toscano continued. I hope that the school district will not send a message that being shot while teaching a lesson in class by a student is merely a hazard of the job.”

— Finley reported from Norfolk, Virginia.

The more this goes on the more of an absolute failure it's been on every level of authority.

But the solution is security guards, with guns themselves! That would'a protected everyone for sure!
 

Ron in Regina

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The more this goes on the more of an absolute failure it's been on every level of authority.

But the solution is security guards, with guns themselves! That would'a protected everyone for sure!
Holy cow. A six year old with the ability to choke an adult teacher until they can’t breathe?

Maybe part of the solution is a swift kick in the ass for this child, and his parents in advance of things getting this far??
 

Serryah

Executive Branch Member
Dec 3, 2008
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Holy cow. A six year old with the ability to choke an adult teacher until they can’t breathe?

Maybe part of the solution is a swift kick in the ass for this child, and his parents in advance of things getting this far??

Apparently the kid has mental issues - depending on the disability, that might make a teacher not wanting to get sued if they "touched" the kid even in this kind of situation.

Hell, likely ANY kid - disabled or not - in this situation would have a teacher by the balls out of fear of defending themselves and later getting sued for touching sweet little Johnny.
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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Apparently the kid has mental issues - depending on the disability, that might make a teacher not wanting to get sued if they "touched" the kid even in this kind of situation.

Hell, likely ANY kid - disabled or not - in this situation would have a teacher by the balls out of fear of defending themselves and later getting sued for touching sweet little Johnny.
I’ve never had to put a hand on the backside of anybody else’s child except my own… but I admit that I have promised another child’s parent that I would spank him if they (I won’t hit a woman unless it’s self-defence) didn’t do something about their child in the past.

(Ok, I didn’t promise to spank him, but that was the general idea that was portrayed)
 
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The_Foxer

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The more this goes on the more of an absolute failure it's been on every level of authority.

But the solution is security guards, with guns themselves! That would'a protected everyone for sure!
Would have done a hell of a lot better than the teachers did on their own.

Or are you suggesting it would be better for unarmed untrained people to rush an armed kid who's obviously prepared to shoot people.

That's pretty dumb. Have you considered being a teacher?
 
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The_Foxer

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I’ve never had to put a hand on the backside of anybody else’s child except my own… but I admit that I have promised another child’s parent that I would spank him if they (I won’t hit a woman unless it’s self-defence) didn’t do something about their child in the past.

(Ok, I didn’t promise to spank him, but that was the general idea that was portrayed)
There was a wonderful line in a cartoon once - "I've always been proud of the fact that i've never struck a child. But I can find something else to be proud of if i have to."
 

spaminator

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6-year-old won't be charged after shooting Virginia teacher: Report
Police have said boy used mother's handgun in Jan. 6 shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News

Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Denise Lavoie And Ben Finley
Published Mar 08, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

RICHMOND, Va. — Authorities in the Virginia city where a 6-year-old shot and wounded his teacher will not seek criminal charges against the child, the local prosecutor told NBC News Wednesday, in a decision that was anticipated by legal experts.


But Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said his office has yet to decide if any adults will be held criminally accountable.


Newport News police have said that the boy used his mother’s 9mm handgun in the Jan. 6 shooting at Richneck Elementary School. A lawyer for the child’s mother has previously stated that the weapon, which was legally purchased, was secured on a high closet shelf and had a lock on it.

Gwynn did not immediately respond to two phone messages and two emails from The Associated Press seeking comment.

He told NBC that the “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic” because he wouldn’t have the competency to understand the legal system and what a charge means.

Gwynn told the news outlet that his office is still focusing on others besides the child.


“Once we analyze all the facts, we will charge any person or persons that we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt committed a crime,” he said.

The decision did not come as a surprise. Even though it is possible under Virginia law to criminally charge a 6-year-old child, legal experts said it would be highly unlikely that a prosecutor would even try.

A common-law doctrine known as the “infancy defence” holds that children under 7 cannot be prosecuted for a crime because they are too young to be capable of forming criminal intent. A judge also would have to find that the child was competent to stand trial, meaning that he could understand the legal proceedings and assist attorneys defending him.

“You have to be able to show that they understand the seriousness of it, planned it, and executed it,” Julie McConnell, a law professor at the University of Richmond, told the AP. “It would be very hard to prove that a 6-year-old could understand that what he did could have permanent consequences,” McConnell said.


She added: “The question is not how do we hold the child accountable? The question is how do we hold ourselves accountable as a society? How do we address the fact that it is so easy for children to get guns in the first place?”

Newport News police turned over their investigation to Gwynn’s office last month. Police Chief Steve Drew said in February that he understands that “people would like to have a case open and shut – that’s just not what we have here.”


Drew described a complicated investigation that involved coordinating interviews with first-graders, which required permission from their parents as well as the expertise of a child psychologist.

Gwynn told the AP last month that the city’s detectives handed over three binders of information to his office.

“It’s a lot of information, and we’re going to carefully review it as we do in every case,” Gwynn said in February.

The decision to not charge the child is the latest development from the shooting, which sent shockwaves through the shipbuilding city of about 185,000 people near the Chesapeake Bay.

The 6-year-old boy, who has not been identified, shot first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner while she was teaching inside her classroom.


The police chief has repeatedly characterized the shooting as “intentional.” Drew said there was no warning and no struggle before the child pointed the gun at Zwerner and fired one round, striking her in the hand and chest.

Zwerner, 25, hustled her students out of the classroom before being rushed to the hospital, where she stayed for nearly two weeks before she was released to continue recovering at home.

An attorney for the 6-year-old’s family, James Ellenson, told the AP in January that the gun the boy used was secured in his mother’s closet on a shelf well over 6 feet (1.8 metres) high and had a trigger lock that required a key.

The family’s statement in the wake of the shooting also said that the boy has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.” The week of the shooting was the first when a parent was not in class with him, the family said.


The family said in the days after the shooting that the child was placed under hospital care and was receiving “the treatment he needs.”

Zwerner’s attorney, Diane Toscano, told reporters in January that concerned staff at Richneck Elementary School had warned administrators three times that the 6-year-old had a gun and was threatening other students in the hours before Zwerner was shot. Toscano said the administration “was paralyzed by apathy” and didn’t call police, remove the boy from class or lock down the school.

In early February, Toscano filed a legal notice informing Newport News Public Schools of Zwerner’s intent to sue, laying out even more allegations. They included claims that the same boy who shot Zwerner had constantly cursed at staff and teachers, tried to whip students with his belt and once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe.”

Two days before the shooting, the boy allegedly “slammed” Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it, according to the claim notice. He was given a one-day suspension, the notice says. But when he returned to Zwerner’s class the following day, he pulled a 9mm handgun out of his pocket and shot her while she sat at a reading table, the notice says.
 

pgs

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6-year-old won't be charged after shooting Virginia teacher: Report
Police have said boy used mother's handgun in Jan. 6 shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News

Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Denise Lavoie And Ben Finley
Published Mar 08, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

RICHMOND, Va. — Authorities in the Virginia city where a 6-year-old shot and wounded his teacher will not seek criminal charges against the child, the local prosecutor told NBC News Wednesday, in a decision that was anticipated by legal experts.


But Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said his office has yet to decide if any adults will be held criminally accountable.


Newport News police have said that the boy used his mother’s 9mm handgun in the Jan. 6 shooting at Richneck Elementary School. A lawyer for the child’s mother has previously stated that the weapon, which was legally purchased, was secured on a high closet shelf and had a lock on it.

Gwynn did not immediately respond to two phone messages and two emails from The Associated Press seeking comment.

He told NBC that the “prospect that a 6-year-old can stand trial is problematic” because he wouldn’t have the competency to understand the legal system and what a charge means.

Gwynn told the news outlet that his office is still focusing on others besides the child.


“Once we analyze all the facts, we will charge any person or persons that we believe we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt committed a crime,” he said.

The decision did not come as a surprise. Even though it is possible under Virginia law to criminally charge a 6-year-old child, legal experts said it would be highly unlikely that a prosecutor would even try.

A common-law doctrine known as the “infancy defence” holds that children under 7 cannot be prosecuted for a crime because they are too young to be capable of forming criminal intent. A judge also would have to find that the child was competent to stand trial, meaning that he could understand the legal proceedings and assist attorneys defending him.

“You have to be able to show that they understand the seriousness of it, planned it, and executed it,” Julie McConnell, a law professor at the University of Richmond, told the AP. “It would be very hard to prove that a 6-year-old could understand that what he did could have permanent consequences,” McConnell said.


She added: “The question is not how do we hold the child accountable? The question is how do we hold ourselves accountable as a society? How do we address the fact that it is so easy for children to get guns in the first place?”

Newport News police turned over their investigation to Gwynn’s office last month. Police Chief Steve Drew said in February that he understands that “people would like to have a case open and shut – that’s just not what we have here.”


Drew described a complicated investigation that involved coordinating interviews with first-graders, which required permission from their parents as well as the expertise of a child psychologist.

Gwynn told the AP last month that the city’s detectives handed over three binders of information to his office.

“It’s a lot of information, and we’re going to carefully review it as we do in every case,” Gwynn said in February.

The decision to not charge the child is the latest development from the shooting, which sent shockwaves through the shipbuilding city of about 185,000 people near the Chesapeake Bay.

The 6-year-old boy, who has not been identified, shot first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner while she was teaching inside her classroom.


The police chief has repeatedly characterized the shooting as “intentional.” Drew said there was no warning and no struggle before the child pointed the gun at Zwerner and fired one round, striking her in the hand and chest.

Zwerner, 25, hustled her students out of the classroom before being rushed to the hospital, where she stayed for nearly two weeks before she was released to continue recovering at home.

An attorney for the 6-year-old’s family, James Ellenson, told the AP in January that the gun the boy used was secured in his mother’s closet on a shelf well over 6 feet (1.8 metres) high and had a trigger lock that required a key.

The family’s statement in the wake of the shooting also said that the boy has an “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.” The week of the shooting was the first when a parent was not in class with him, the family said.


The family said in the days after the shooting that the child was placed under hospital care and was receiving “the treatment he needs.”

Zwerner’s attorney, Diane Toscano, told reporters in January that concerned staff at Richneck Elementary School had warned administrators three times that the 6-year-old had a gun and was threatening other students in the hours before Zwerner was shot. Toscano said the administration “was paralyzed by apathy” and didn’t call police, remove the boy from class or lock down the school.

In early February, Toscano filed a legal notice informing Newport News Public Schools of Zwerner’s intent to sue, laying out even more allegations. They included claims that the same boy who shot Zwerner had constantly cursed at staff and teachers, tried to whip students with his belt and once choked another teacher “until she couldn’t breathe.”

Two days before the shooting, the boy allegedly “slammed” Zwerner’s cellphone and broke it, according to the claim notice. He was given a one-day suspension, the notice says. But when he returned to Zwerner’s class the following day, he pulled a 9mm handgun out of his pocket and shot her while she sat at a reading table, the notice says.
Hang ‘‘em high .
 

spaminator

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Recovering teacher shot by 6-year-old: ‘It's changed me'
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Mar 21, 2023 • 1 minute read

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia teacher who was shot and wounded by her 6-year-old student said it has changed her life and she has vivid memories and nightmares about that day.


“I just will never forget the look on his face that he gave me while he pointed the gun directly at me,” first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner said during an exclusive interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie about the student. “It’s changed me. It’s changed my life.”


She said she’s still in shock and can’t make sense of it, in a portion of the interview that was aired Tuesday morning on “Today.”

“I’m not sure when the shock will ever go away because of just how surreal it was and the vivid memories I have of that day. I think about it daily. Sometimes I have nightmares,” she said.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the Jan. 6 shooting, Zwerner said in a portion of the interview that was aired Monday on “NBC Nightly News” that she’s had a challenging recovery including four surgeries and has some days when she “can’t get up out of bed,” while others she is able to go about her day and make it to appointments.

“For going through what I’ve gone through, I try to stay positive. You know, try to have a positive outlook on what’s happened and where my future’s heading,” Zwerner said

Zwerner was hospitalized for nearly two weeks after being shot in the chest and left hand as she taught her class at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. The shooting rattled the military shipbuilding community and sent shock waves around the country, with many wondering how a child so young could get access to a gun and shoot his teacher.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
Nov 21, 2008
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Low Earth Orbit
Recovering teacher shot by 6-year-old: ‘It's changed me'
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Mar 21, 2023 • 1 minute read

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia teacher who was shot and wounded by her 6-year-old student said it has changed her life and she has vivid memories and nightmares about that day.


“I just will never forget the look on his face that he gave me while he pointed the gun directly at me,” first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner said during an exclusive interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie about the student. “It’s changed me. It’s changed my life.”


She said she’s still in shock and can’t make sense of it, in a portion of the interview that was aired Tuesday morning on “Today.”

“I’m not sure when the shock will ever go away because of just how surreal it was and the vivid memories I have of that day. I think about it daily. Sometimes I have nightmares,” she said.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the Jan. 6 shooting, Zwerner said in a portion of the interview that was aired Monday on “NBC Nightly News” that she’s had a challenging recovery including four surgeries and has some days when she “can’t get up out of bed,” while others she is able to go about her day and make it to appointments.

“For going through what I’ve gone through, I try to stay positive. You know, try to have a positive outlook on what’s happened and where my future’s heading,” Zwerner said

Zwerner was hospitalized for nearly two weeks after being shot in the chest and left hand as she taught her class at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. The shooting rattled the military shipbuilding community and sent shock waves around the country, with many wondering how a child so young could get access to a gun and shoot his teacher.
Has anyone told her that the 2nd 3rd and 4th+ serious brushes with death are super easy to deal with after the first?
 

Serryah

Executive Branch Member
Dec 3, 2008
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The Washington Post sought to illustrate the force of the AR-15 and reveal its catastrophic effects.

The first part of this report is a 3D animation that shows the trajectory of two different hypothetical gunshots to the chest — one from an AR-15 and another from a typical handgun — to explain the greater severity of the damage caused by the AR-15.

The second part depicts the entrance and exit wounds of two actual victims — Noah Pozner, 6, and Peter Wang, 15 — killed in school shootings when they were struck by multiple bullets.

This account is based on a review of nearly 100 autopsy reports from several AR-15 shootings as well as court testimony and interviews with trauma surgeons, ballistics experts and a medical examiner.


Yeah, it's people who kill people, WITH the guns.

Six more dead yesterday; seven if you include the shooter.

Fuck thoughts and prayers.

This isn't a Liberal issue, it's not a Dem issue, it's not a Con issue, it's not a Republican issue, it's a human-fucking-life issue and if you actually look at the article and see what happens to a body, and STILL think such weapons shouldn't at LEAST be tracked or SOMETHING done about them, then you've shown yourself to be depraved.

When you care more about your ego and right to kill people vs. those people actually having their lives, you've NO right to comment on the situation.
 

harrylee

Man of Memes
Mar 22, 2019
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Ontario


The Washington Post sought to illustrate the force of the AR-15 and reveal its catastrophic effects.

The first part of this report is a 3D animation that shows the trajectory of two different hypothetical gunshots to the chest — one from an AR-15 and another from a typical handgun — to explain the greater severity of the damage caused by the AR-15.

The second part depicts the entrance and exit wounds of two actual victims — Noah Pozner, 6, and Peter Wang, 15 — killed in school shootings when they were struck by multiple bullets.

This account is based on a review of nearly 100 autopsy reports from several AR-15 shootings as well as court testimony and interviews with trauma surgeons, ballistics experts and a medical examiner.


Yeah, it's people who kill people, WITH the guns.

Six more dead yesterday; seven if you include the shooter.

Fuck thoughts and prayers.

This isn't a Liberal issue, it's not a Dem issue, it's not a Con issue, it's not a Republican issue, it's a human-fucking-life issue and if you actually look at the article and see what happens to a body, and STILL think such weapons shouldn't at LEAST be tracked or SOMETHING done about them, then you've shown yourself to be depraved.

When you care more about your ego and right to kill people vs. those people actually having their lives, you've NO right to comment on the situation.
I agree with you on this. There does need to be something done about the ownership of guns, all guns. Americans think it is their god given right to own guns. Driving and owning a car is also a right, but there are stipulations. You must have a licence, have insurance etc, etc. Maybe it should be the same with guns. If you can't show a certain standard (ie: testing etc}....No gun for you. If you are a hunter, so be it....pass a test.
Of course, your hoodrat criminal won't follow these rules, but that is another issue.