Charges Filed Against Administrator At School Where 6-Year-Old Shot Teacher

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A grand jury indicted Ebony Parker, the former assistant principal at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, with eight felony counts of child abuse.

Parker was assistant principal at the school when a six-year-old student brought a gun to class and shot his teacher, Abigal Zwerner, on January 6, 2023. She resigned 19 days after Zwerner was shot.

According to the grand jury report released on Wednesday (April 10), Parker was notified at least four times on the day of the shooting that the student was a "potentially dangerous threat."

She also declined to search the boy for a gun about an hour before he shot his teacher.

"Dr. Parker's lack of response and initiative given the seriousness of the information she had received on January 6, 2023 is shocking," the report states.

The eight charges represent "each of the eight bullets that endangered all the students in Ms. Abigal Zwerner's first-grade classroom," the Newport News Commonwealth's Attorney's Office explained.

The boy fired a single shot, but the gun jammed as he tried to fire additional shots.

Newport News Commonwealth's Attorney Howard Gwynn said he is "troubled" by the grand jury's findings. He said the investigation remains ongoing and that additional charges could be filed in the case.

If convicted, Parker faces up to 40 years in prison.

The boy's mother, Deja Taylor, was convicted on federal and state charges related to the shooting. She is currently serving 21 months in federal prison and will then have to serve two years in jail on the charges in Virginia.

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