First-grader in school shooting, threatened to light a teacher on fire

First-grader in school shooting, threatened to light a teacher on fire

I literally exclaimed the word ‘holy’ followed by an expletive when I read the details of this story. But before we get to the main event, a little backstory is required.

As we have been discussing for the past couple of weeks, this involves the shooting at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. If you’ll recall, a six-year-old brought a semiautomatic pistol to the school, and in the middle of a lesson shot teacher Abby Zwerner through the hand and in the chest. The shooting has been described by police as ‘intentional’. Thankfully, Ms. Zwerner survived her injuries and has been released from the hospital.

Previously, we learned that the 9 mm pistol came from the child’s home and was legally owned by his mother. More recently, the family of the six-year-old have released a statement to the public. In it, the family claims they are “committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children.” An attorney representing the family told the media the gun was stored with a trigger lock in a closet on a shelf that was 6′ high. At the time of this writing, neither the family nor the police are commenting on how the six-year-old was able to obtain the gun and release the lock.

In the family’s statement, they also said that the boy has both behavioral and intellectual disabilities. Before the shooting, the student was under a care plan at the school, where one of his parents would attend classes with him. The week of the shooting was the first week that neither of his parents were with him.

As an aside, this is just a gut feeling on my part, but the family seems genuinely remorseful about what happened, even praising Abby Zwerner as a teacher.

But getting back to the child’s disabilities, The Washington Post dropped a bombshell of a report over the weekend. According to The Post, the child’s behavioral problems were so bad, he once allegedly threatened another teacher at Richneck Elementary. The boy is said to have handed a note to a teacher which said he hated her and wanted to set her on fire and watch her die. That’s not the bombshell part, though. According to The Post’s source, the school administrators allegedly told the teacher to drop the matter. But wait, it gets worse.

Also, according to The Post’s source, Abby Zwerner is said to have repeatedly asked the school for assistance with the student. These requests were said to have gone unheeded.

Although, I do have to question the decision to keep a gun in the same home as a child with behavioral problems, but I digress.

In my estimation, it seems like the school deserves the lion’s share of the blame for allowing this to happen to Abby Zwerner. Keep in mind that the school didn’t contact police after receiving a warning a student may be bringing a gun to the school. However, here’s the thing. There are very few resources available to both parents and schools when dealing with a special needs child, and the ones that are available are expensive.

Most parents don’t have that kind of money, and neither do the schools. How often do we see charity drives just so kids can have school supplies? How often do we see stories about teachers having to purchase supplies out of their own paycheck? Maybe if legislators puts more money into education and mental healthcare than an investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop, we’ll have fewer of these incidents in the future.


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