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Lawyer for ex-principal: Client wasn't told about gun threat

Students exit a school bus
John C. Clark
Associated Press
Students exit a school bus during the first day back to Richneck Elementary School on Jan. 30 in Newport News. The Virginia elementary school where a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher has reopened with stepped-up security and a new administrator.

Read the original story on WHRO’s website.

A lawyer for former Richneck Elementary principal Briana Foster-Newton claims her client was never warned that a student might have brought a gun to school.

Under Foster-Newton’s leadership, a first-grader brought a gun to school in January and shot his teacher, 25-year-old Abby Zwerner.

A lawyer for Zwerner, who plans to sue the school district, said several administrators were told about the student having a gun before the afternoon shooting.

Foster-Newton was removed from her position in the days following the shooting but remains employed with the district.

Assistant Principal Ebony Parker resigned last week, and the Newport News School Board voted 5-1 to fire Superintendent George Parker at a meeting on Jan. 25.

In a statement Foster-Newton’s lawyer, Pamela Branch, said her client is the target of “misinformed” social media posts that named her as one of the administrators who downplayed the report of a gun in the school.

“The fact of the matter is that those who were aware that the student may have had a gun on the premises that day did not report this to Mrs. Newton at all,” Branch said.

Richneck Elementary School reopened on Monday, Jan. 30, for students.

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