Abigail Zwerner’s Lawsuit Against Newport News Public Schools
In January, Abigail Zwerner, a first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School, was shot by a six-year-old student. Zwerner alleges that Newport News Public Schools failed to provide a safe learning environment for its teachers and students.
On Friday, a hearing was held in Newport News Circuit Court to determine whether Zwerner’s lawsuit should go forward or if it should be relegated to a Worker’s Compensation claim. The judge presiding over the case took it under advisement and is expected to issue a decision and written opinion within the week.
The attorneys representing the Newport News School Board and two administrator defendants assert that the shooting was a workplace injury, and that the Circuit Court doesn’t have subject matter jurisdiction over the case, which must be sent to Worker’s Comp under the law. Zwerner’s attorneys argue that the shooting was not a workplace injury and that Newport News Public Schools failed in their duty to provide a safe learning environment for their teachers and students.
The outcome of the case is yet to be determined as the judge has taken it under advisement. The losing side is expected to appeal.
The Importance of the Case
The case has generated wide public interest as it deals with the safety of teachers and students in the school system. It is an important case for both sides and the public as it examines the issue of whether teachers are entitled to a safe work environment in schools.
Zwerner’s lawsuit alleges that the school board and administration had failed to provide a safe environment for their teachers and students, despite having knowledge of the student’s troubling behavior. The complaint states that the school’s assistant principal ignored the three warnings that the six-year-old student had brought a gun to school.
The Risks Faced by Teachers
It is not expected for teachers to face the risk of being shot in the classroom. Zwerner’s legal team argued that the shooting was not an ‘actual risk’ inherent to the job of a first-grade teacher. The highly unusual event that occurred was the reason why the case has generated such public interest.
The outcome of the case will have significant implications on the safety of teachers and students in the school system. It is important for schools to provide a secure environment for teachers and students to learn and grow. The decision of this case will determine whether teachers will be able to sue school boards for lack of safety provisions in the event of future workplace injuries.
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Child who shot Richneck teacher admitted to shooting – WVEC
School officials were told 1st grader had gun before he shot …