Lawsuits Demand Justice for Students and Accountability from School Officials Following Newport News Elementary School Shooting

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Six students and a grandmother have filed lawsuits against the Newport News School Board and former school administrators after a six-year-old shot his teacher at Richneck Elementary School. The plaintiffs are seeking $3 million in damages each and are demanding trials to hold those responsible accountable.

According to attorney Emily Brannon, there was widespread chaos following the incident. Many people, including students and staff, believed it was an active-shooter situation because there was no unified communication from the front office. Brannon stated that when parents arrived at the scene, they were greeted by a homicide detective who asked them to identify their child without confirming if they were safe.

The lawsuits highlight the six-year-old’s history of violence at school, which was known to the staff. He had previously been removed from school after assaulting a teacher. Despite his troubled behavior, Brannon emphasized that the child is also a victim and that those responsible for protecting him failed to do so.

Concerns have been raised about the child’s intentions on the day of the shooting. Rumors suggest that the gun actually jammed, preventing further harm. Brannon emphasized that if someone had made a simple phone call before the incident, the trauma and violence could have been prevented.

In addition to the negligence surrounding the shooting, a grandmother claimed that former Principal Briana Foster Newton locked her, a student, and the injured teacher out of her office. Newton has since left her position, and attempts to contact her have been unsuccessful.

The lawsuits aim to bring justice to the victims and shed light on the failures of the school administration. The plaintiffs hope that a trial will provide answers and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

As the legal proceedings continue, the community waits for clarity and reassurance that measures will be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of students in Newport News schools.