School where teacher was shot could get $1.5M for the wrong reasons

School where teacher was shot could get $1.5M for the wrong reasons

It’s time for us to return to Newport News, Virginia, where a six-year-old student intentionally shot teacher Abby Zwerner at Richneck Elementary School back in January.

Recently, it was announced by prosecutors that the six-year-old will not be facing any legal charges. That really should come as no surprise. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that no legal charges will be filed.  Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said…

“…his office is focusing on others in the case and would charge anyone it believes committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Our objective is not just to do something as quickly as possible.”

As previously mentioned, the boy’s mother could be one of those people. If you’ll recall, the gun used in the shooting was hers, and the gun was legally purchased. The gun was allegedly stored with a trigger lock on a six-foot-high shelf. To my knowledge, no explanation about how the boy was able to obtain and unlock the gun has been given. Under Virginia law, a gun in the home that endangers the life of children is only a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is a mere one-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of $2500. Realistically, the sentence would probably only be probation, since Virginia is such a bastion of the 2nd Amendment.

While not mentioned by any Newport News authorities, could former Assistant Principal Dr. Ebony Parker be facing charges? Last month, Diane Toscano, the attorney for Abby Zwerner, held a press conference about her client’s intention to sue the school. The grounds for the lawsuit stem from the allegation that a school administrator was warned multiple times that day that the student may have brought a gun to the school. When told the student may have a gun on him during recess, it was Parker who allegedly dismissed the accusation by saying the student had ‘small pockets’. When school employees asked Parker if they could search the student, she allegedly denied the request, saying that the boy’s mom was picking him up soon.

According to a quick Google search, the definition of criminal negligence in Virginia is the following.

In order for criminal liability to result from negligence, it must necessarily be reckless or wanton and of such a character as to show disregard of the safety of others under circumstances likely to cause injury or death.

Do Parker’s actions meet that requirement? I think so, but that will be up to a prosecutor and potentially a jury to decide. Personally, I don’t think Dr. Parker will be criminally charged, but instead will face a different kind of punishment in a civil court. It was announced in late-January that Dr. Parker had resigned from the school district.

The school’s principal at the time, Briana Foster Newton, claims to have never been informed about a student having a gun. She has been reassigned to a new position within the school district.

Additional violent tendencies leading up to the shooting have also been reported, but I think that point has been made and any further discussion of that would not be helpful.

What I really wanted to talk about with this story is the report that Richneck Elementary School might be receiving $1.5 million in the wake of the shooting. Why, you might ask? Reportedly, some of the classrooms aren’t classrooms at all. Some of them are just open areas separated by temporary partitions. The $1.5M will go to putting in permanent walls and doors as part of a $50 million state grant program for security renovations to schools across Virginia.

Some of you may think that’s a good idea. However, what I’d like to know is why schools, especially Richneck, couldn’t get any of this money for things like, you know, EDUCATION?! I have no doubt that the $1.5M the school could be receiving would have helped the school immensely for things like special education programs that the students could have used. Yet, the state can pull a cool mil and a half out of its ass after a teacher gets shot. Where was this money for schools before?

Not only that, but this mismanagement of state funds shows that Virginia has completely given up on doing anything real to prevent school shootings. They won’t do anything about guns because the 2nd Amendment is their First Commandment, and they won’t do anything about the lack of access to quality mental health care because that’s Communism or something, and these kids only need Jesus.

Don’t forget that Virginia is the state that is home to the deadliest school shooting in US history. Have they forgotten about Virginia Tech so soon? Do the deaths of 32 people at Virginia Tech mean nothing to you? What about the students who were killed more recently at the University of Virginia?

Nope, walls and doors are their answer. $50 million of walls and doors.


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