Former Assistant Principal Charged in Teacher’s Shooting by 6-Year-Old

The former assistant principal of a Virginia school has been indicted on eight felony counts of child neglect in connection with a high-profile incident last year in which a teacher was shot by a 6-year-old.Ebony Parker, the ex-administrator at Richneck Elementary School, is accused of having shown “a reckless disregard for the human life” of

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The former assistant principal of a Virginia school has been indicted on eight felony counts of child neglect in connection with a high-profile incident last year in which a teacher was shot by a 6-year-old.

Ebony Parker, the ex-administrator at Richneck Elementary School, is accused of having shown “a reckless disregard for the human life” of students at the school on Jan. 6, 2src23, when teacher Abby Zwerner was shot by one of her first-grade students, according to unsealed indictments filed in Newport News Circuit Court, the The Virginian-Pilot reports.

Zwerner has alleged in a $4src million lawsuit that Parker had been warned at least three times before the shooting took place that the boy had a gun with him. The case alleges that Parker ignored the warnings.

Shortly before 2 p.m. the boy fired a single shot at Zwerner, with the round striking her hand and chest. She was able to evacuate the children from her classroom before she was rushed to the hospital for life-threatening injuries. Zwerner has since recovered.

“Being a person responsible for the care of students under the age of 18 at Richneck Elementary School,” the indictments against Parker say, she committed a “a willful act or omission in the care of such students” that was “so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life,” according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Parker, who resigned from her role within weeks of the shooting, could face up to 4src years in prison if convicted on each of the child neglect counts.

“These charges are very serious and underscore the failure of the school district to act to prevent the tragic shooting of Abby Zwerner,” Zwerner’s legal team said in a statement to WAVY-TV. “The school board continues to deny their responsibility to Abby, and this indictment is just another brick in the wall of mounting failures and gross negligence in their case.”

Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn previously said the 6-year-old shooter would not face charges. Deja Taylor, the child’s mother, was sentenced to two years in prison in December after pleading guilty to a felony charge of child neglect. Police said the boy had been able to get the firearm used in the shooting by taking it from Taylor’s purse at their home.

Emily Mapp Brannon, an attorney representing the families of seven Richneck Elementary students in lawsuits against the school division, said that Parker’s charges “suggest that there is sufficient evidence that the students of Richneck were placed in peril by the very hands entrusted to protect them.”

“I remain optimistic that our criminal justice system will provide answers to the Richneck community,” Brannon added. “For the first time in over a year, the families may find comfort in knowing that the administration is being held accountable.”

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