Teachers at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia saw their warnings about the six-year-old who is accused of shooting his teacher ignored up to the day he opened fire, according to texts obtained by the Washington Post.
According to the report, the boy had reportedly been making threats prior to the shooting that shocked the nation, including indicating a desire "to light a teacher on fire and watch her die," the Post is reporting.
These new texts reveal a pattern of dismissed fears about the potential, for violence that raise new questions about the school's administrators' handling of the child — in particular Newport News Superintendent George Parker III.
"The messages, which were provided to The Post by the spouse of a Richneck Elementary schoolteacher, do not detail what specific assistance [shooting victim Abigail] Zwerner sought, or to whom she directed her requests. Zwerner and her family have not returned repeated messages from The Washington Post," the report states. "A separate message written by a Richneck teacher, and obtained by The Washington Post from the local teachers union, alleges that school administrators waved away grave concerns about the 6-year-old’s conduct and that the school was overall unable to care for him properly."
One teacher who asked to not be identified over fear of retaliation highlighted one frightening exchange.
"On one occasion, the boy wrote a note telling a teacher he hated her and wanted to light her on fire and watch her die, according to the teacher’s account. Alarmed, the teacher brought the note to the attention of Richneck administrators and was told to drop the matter, according to the account. The date of the incident was not mentioned." the Post is reporting before adding, "On a second occasion, the boy threw furniture and other items in class, prompting students to hide beneath their desks, according to the account. Another time, the teacher alleges in her account, the boy barricaded the doors to a classroom, preventing a teacher and students from leaving."
The report adds, "The teacher banged on the classroom door until another teacher from across the hall forced it open from the outside, according to the teacher’s account. It was not clear whether the teacher asked for any specific action from administrators after that incident."
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