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Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old no longer working for Newport News school

The first grade teacher who was shot by her 6-year-old student in Virginia earlier this year is no longer working for the school, according to a spokesperson for Newport News Public Schools.

Abby Zwerner was shot in the hand and chest as she sat at a reading table in her classroom in January at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, a city near the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia.

Police say the boy, who has not been publicly identified, used his mother’s 9mm handgun gun, which was purchased legally, in the “intentional” shooting.

Zwerner was hospitalized for nearly two weeks.

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In this undated photo provided by her family and lawyers, Abigail Zwerner, a first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., is shown inside her classroom.

In this undated photo provided by her family and lawyers, Abigail Zwerner, a first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Va., is shown inside her classroom.

She notified the school’s human resources department that she was resigning from her position as a teacher on March 13, to be effective June 12, spokesperson Michelle Price said Tuesday. The last day of her 10-month contact was Monday, Price said.

Attorney Jeffrey Breit raised questions about Zwerner’s separation from the school in an interview with local WAVY-TV on Tuesday. Breit said Zwerner was “shocked” by the school’s actions and was “fired.” He also alleged the school has not paid Zwerner since February.

Breit did not respond to a USA TODAY request for comment Tuesday. James Toscano, another attorney for Zwerner, declined to comment on the matter.

‘I wish to resign’

In response to the allegations, the school released a copy of an email exchange with Zwerner, in which she stated: “I wish to resign.”

Prices also detail the school’s policy for workers’ compensation. She said the school district’s human resources department began processing workers’ compensation for Zwerner “immediately” after the shooting, and Zwerner was on administrative leave with pay until workers’ compensation payments began.

Price said Zwerner refused workers’ compensation, so HR staff used her sick leave to continue compensation.

“When Ms. Zwerner’s sick leave was exhausted, she was placed on unpaid FMLA (Family and Medical Leave), in accordance with federal law and school board policy. Had Ms. Zwerner accepted workers’ compensation, she would have received 66 2/3 % of her average weekly wages tax-free,” Price said.

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Police look on as students returning to Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia.

Police look on as students returning to Richneck Elementary in Newport News, Virginia.

Shooter’s mother faces prison time

In April, Zwerner filed a lawsuit seeking $40 million in damages from school officials. The suit accuses the district of gross negligence for reportedly ignoring multiple warnings on the day of the shooting that the boy had a gun and was in a “violent mood.”

That same month, a grand jury indicted the boy’s mother on charges of felony child neglect and recklessly leaving a loaded firearm so as to endanger a child, a misdemeanor. The felony charge is punishable by up to five years in prison. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison. His mother also has been charged by federal authorities.

A Newport News prosecutor previously said his office would not criminally charge the boy because the boy would not understand the legal system and what a charge means.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Virginia teacher shot by boy no longer working for Newport News school