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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Teachers are angry about shooting, but not shocked

"A 6-year-old Virginia boy who shot and wounded his first-grade teacher constantly cursed at staff and teachers, tried to whip students with his belt and once choked another teacher 'until she couldn’t breathe',” asserted the attorney for teacher Abby Zwerner, who intends to sue the district for negligence.

A vigil for wounded teacher Abby Zwerner in Newport News, Virginia on Jan. 9

The choking incident happened in 2021, when the boy was in kindergarten. "The teacher requested anonymity because she fears potential retaliation from the school district," reports AP.

The notice of intent to sue includes details of the multiple times the assistant principal ignored warnings that the boy had brought a gun to school and showed it to a classmate at recess.

Jessi Casler, a fourth-grade teacher in Colorado was angry when she heard about the Newport News shooting, reports Kait Hanson for NBC's TODAY. But she wasn't shocked."

Every teacher in America has "stories of extreme behaviors escalating to dangerous levels while administrators ignore red flags," says Casler. Her Instagram post, This is teaching in America, went viral, drawing stories from teachers about classroom violence.

"A student, who I knew had access to guns, stared me down and said, 'I know where you live.' I had two infant children, so this was just horrifying," one teacher named Kristy commented on the post. "My school said they could do nothing because his speech was protected and was not enough of a threat. I went to the police. The police said that the threat was not direct or specific enough. He would have had to say something like, 'Mrs. Moore, I know where you live and I am going to shoot you.' I lived in fear, looking out the window, checking doors, etc. Luckily, my husband got a new job and we moved away."

It used to be "zero tolerance" policies that got kids suspended for bringing a plastic knife in their lunch bag to cut up their food. Now it seems to be total tolerance.

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