Metal detector to be installed at Virginia school where 6-year-old shot teacher


When students return to a . Virginia school where a 6-year-old shot a first-grade teacher. The campus will be outfitted with a metal detector.

The Newport News Public School District announced . Thursday that a detector will be installed at. Richneck Elementary School, where Abigail Zawerner was shot while teaching.

The school, which has been closed since the shooting . Friday will reopen with metal detectors, school board chair Lisa R. Surless-Law said.

“The metal detectors are going to be going on in Richneke so we can get those . Students into the building,” Surless-Law said.

A return date has not been set, a district spokeswoman said.

Sarles-Law also said officials have. Found funding to add metal detectors throughout the district.

“Every school in our district has 90 state-of-the-art . Metal detectors running, and some of them will have more than one,” he said.

He did not disclose the cost of the detectors or a timeline for installation.
No students were injured, and the 6-year-old was taken into custody Friday.

Officials said a court-ordered temporary detention order was placed on the child. Who is “currently undergoing treatment at a medical facility”.

Authorities declined to release any more details about . The shooting Thursday, citing the investigation.

District Superintendent George Parker . III said this week that the safety of students and staff is his top priority.

“My board members know how about our schools looking like prisons,” he said. But, he said, children cannot learn well if their safety is compromised.

“This incident here will force us to rethink how we manage our young children,” Parker said. “This may warrant us to reconsider all metal detectors in all our . Buildings At least it’s an extra layer of support.”

The use of metal detectors in American schools is rare
According to the . National Center for Education Statistics, the use of metal detectors in schools, especially . Elementary schools, is still rare.

In the 2019-20 school year, less than 2% of public elementary schools . Conducted random metal detector checks on students. The figures were 10% for middle school and 14.8% for high school.

About 2% of elementary schools must clear backpacks. While only 9% of middle schools and 7% of high schools impose the need, the center said. About 54.6% of primary schools were attended by security personnel. At least once a week; It was 81.5% in middle school and 84.4% in high school.
he saved lives’
Zawarner was shot and wounded in an arm and chest when the child pointed a 9 mm. Taurus firearm at him during class, officials said this week.

He is hailed as a hero for leading his students to safety after being injured.

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said Monday that the bullet went through . Zwarner’s arm and into his upper chest, “but he was still able to get all his students out of that classroom.”
“He … made sure every one of these students was safe.

“he saved lives, because I don’t know what else would have happened if those kids had been in that room.”

‘Your school family misses you so much’
On Thursday, Sarles-Law said Zwarner’s condition was “improving every day.”

“Your school family misses you so much,” Surles-Law said.
Including his mother Julie; his twin sister, Hannah; and an aunt. He graduated from James .Madison University in . Virginia and began teaching at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2020, his father, John, a veteran . Newport News firefighter and paramedic, died at home.

Through his personal challenges. Zwarner’s passion for teaching grew, a source close to the situation said. And he often worked evenings and weekends.

“His heart is there,” the source said. “These are his children.”

The shooting has raised questions among school parents, staff members and union. leaders about the need for increased security and whether . Zwarner had flagged earlier problems or warnings about the student.

If he had, “that’s something find,” said James Graves, president of the . Newport News Education Association, the teachers’ union.

He added that metal detectors alone will not . Solve the problem of school shootings: “We also have to deal with behavior. Then we don’t need metal detectors.”

Taunia Pace, Richneck’s cafeteria watch for two years. Said she never imagined the school would need metal detectors or extra security.

“I come here from Texas, where a lot of schools have metal detectors,” Pace said. “in high school, you could believe it could happen, but not here.”

He said he believes counseling is a helpful tool for . Students to better understand “what’s in their heads and in their hearts.”

Will students or parents be charged?
Experts say that there is no possibility of having a child

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