The sudden leadership change follows the Jan. 6 shooting at Richneck Elementary School, when a 6-year-old boy opened fire on teacher Abigail Zwerner with a gun he had brought from home in his backpack. It has been with.
At a school board meeting last week, parents called for Parker’s dismissal, citing systemic problems that are eroding school safety across the 27,000-student district. Many said his plan to install metal detectors in schools was completely inappropriate. Some raised their voices in anger, while others witnessed in tears.
Parker wasn’t immediately reachable on Tuesday.
The January 6th incident shocked educators and parents across the country. A first grader was accused of deliberately shooting dead a classroom teacher by authorities. The bullet passed through Zwerner’s raised hand and lodged in her chest. She was seriously injured, but she survived and is recovering.
Prior to the shooting, school officials had been warned that the 6-year-old may be carrying a gun. But when they searched his backpack, they didn’t find it, Parker said. has questioned why the school did not notify law enforcement about how the 6-year-old hid his gun. A message from the teacher obtained by The Washington Post found that administrators had downplayed the educator’s warnings about the boy’s behavior, including a threat the boy made to another teacher.
School downplayed warning about 6-year-old before teacher shooting, staff say
Appointed Superintendent at Newport News in 2018, Parker previously served as Superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools in Virginia and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools at Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He began working as an educator in 1993 after serving his four years in the Navy.
After the shooting, the first-grade family expressed sympathy for educators, who said their son was suffering from an “acute” disability. Ellenson said the child was receiving psychiatric care at the facility. increase.
Authorities are still investigating the incident.
Also on Tuesday, school officials said Richneck Elementary School, which has 557 students, will resume classes on Jan. 30, more than three weeks after the incident. Parents and children at the school are welcome to visit campus on Wednesday for a two-hour activity designed to kick off the transition to daily instruction.
“We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we plan to bring learning back to Richneck,” Karen Lynch, the administrator responsible for special assignments to the school, said in an update to the school’s website. I am writing to you for information.
School system officials declined to comment on whether the Richneck principal will return to school.
Michelle Price, a spokeswoman for the school system, said Tuesday that security guards employed by the school district will support school students and staff, along with a state-of-the-art metal detector system.
She said a door was installed where the classroom door was missing and other doors in the building were repaired or replaced.
Zwerner’s lawyers are expected to speak publicly about the case for the first time at a press conference on Wednesday. Attorney Diane Toscano will provide an update on teachers, provide new information on the shooting, and discuss next steps for educators, according to a press release.
School Board and Administration at Newport News Blown Up After Parents, Teachers Open Fire
The violence “shocked every mother in town,” Colleen Renthrope, a mother of two who attends another elementary school in the district, said Tuesday. …your child could end up in one of these situations.”
Renthrope said he hopes mental health services will be available when the children return. she said. “I hope they are ready to deal with it in the most healthy and responsible way.”
Justin Jouvenal and Laura Meckler contributed to this report.