In the case of the first-grader who shot and seriously injured his teacher in a US elementary school, the first consequences are coming. The school board of the small town of Newport News, Virginia, fired the district's public school director on Wednesday evening (local time). The vice principal of Richneck Elementary School, where the incident occurred, also resigned, a local broadcaster reported.
The six-year-old took a pistol to school on January 6 and shot his teacher in the chest. The 25-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries. No one was hurt except her. According to the police, the teacher was able to get all the students out of the classroom. Her attorney said she was on the mend. The bullet is still in the victim's body and recovery will take a long time, a lawyer said.
Teacher wants to sue school board
Now the teacher wants to sue the school management, which she accuses of serious omissions. On the day of the crime, concerned teachers warned the school management "three times within a few hours" that the six-year-old was carrying a weapon and threatening others, said the victim's lawyer. The school management downplayed the warnings and did not react.
According to reports from the broadcaster NBC, shortly before the crime, the teacher texted a person close to him that the boy had a gun in his backpack and that the school administration was not doing anything about it. According to police information, the shot was preceded by a dispute. The incident took place in a classroom.
Gun belonged to mother of child
After the crime, it became known that the gun belonged to the boy's mother. According to the police, she had legally acquired the gun and kept it at home. There the student took the gun and took it to school in a backpack. The police had repeatedly emphasized that the act was not an accident, but that the boy had deliberately shot the teacher.
Virginia law prohibits storing a loaded gun where it is accessible to children under the age of 14. School incidents involving such young shooters are also rare in the United States. According to an organization quoted by the New York Times, there have been 16 cases involving shooters under the age of ten since 1970. Six-year-olds were involved in three of them, and two of these three incidents were registered as accidental.
The events in Newport News underscore the continuing threat of gun violence in schools across the United States. In May, 19 children and two teachers were killed in an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.