VA school superintendent removed after 6-yr. old student shoots teacher at school

In the wake of a shocking incident in Newport News, Virginia, in which a 6-year old first grader brought a gun to school and shot his teacher in a classroom earlier this month, the school superintendent has been removed in spite of any wrongdoing.

George Parker, who has served as the Newport News Schools Superintendent for almost five years, was voted out of his position in a separation agreement by the school board after the shooting incident made national headlines. The only board member who voted against ousting Parker was Board member Gary Hunter, who dissented on the grounds that the board was being too hasty in attempting to remove Parker in spite of his many positive performance reviews.

The controversy comes after it was revealed this week that the school was notified three separate times on the day of the shooting that the student in question was possibly in possession of a weapon on school grounds, and had been making violent threats the morning of the shooting. The school’s administration reportedly ignored the warnings from several staff members, and the student ultimately shot his teacher, 25-year old Abigail Zwerner, wounding her in the chest in front of other students.

After the vote to remove Parker, Board Chair Lisa Surles-Law noted, “It is important that we state that this decision was made without cause,” and went on to describe Parker as “a capable division leader who has served Newport News for nearly five years through some extremely challenging circumstances.” Surles-Law added that the decision to make the change in leadership was “based on the future trajectory and needs of our school division.”

The board voted to install Michele Mitchell, who previously served as the director of special education for Newport News schools, as interim superintendent.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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