A Virginia school board voted to remove the district superintendent after a six-year-old student shot a teacher.
It follows the shooting of Abigail Zwerner, 25, in the hand and chest at Richneck Elementary School.
Teachers and staff, including Ms Zwerner, are believed to have alerted school administration three times that the youngster had a pistol and was threatening other children.
According to NBC, the instructor also texted a loved one hours before she was murdered, expressing “frustration” with the institution.
Diane Toscano, Ms Zwerner’s lawyer, said managers were “paralysed by apathy” in failing to warn police or remove the kid.
She said on the day of the incident they “could not be bothered” and urged one employee to “wait the problem out, because the school day was almost done”.
“Abby Zwerner was shot in front of those scared youngsters one hour later, and the school and community are suffering the nightmare, all because the school administration refused to intervene,” Ms Toscano said.
She also indicated that Ms Zwerner intends to sue the district.
‘There is an elephant in the room.’
School board chairwoman Lisa Surles-Law said Mr Parker, who had been in the job for over five years, was a “competent division leader” but the decision was based “on the future trajectory and needs of our school division”.
Gary Hunter, a member of the school board, was “perplexed” by Mr Parker’s dismissal. He backed Mr Parker’s earlier evaluations noting that “having someone new is not going to fix the problem”.
“This is not a Newport News problem,” he explained. “The gun is the giant elephant in the room.”
A care plan was in place for the student.
Lawyers for the boy’s family informed reporters that the gun used in the incident was lawfully acquired by his mother and kept high in the family home, with a trigger lock that required a key.
They stated the youngster has a “acute disability” and was under a care plan “that involved his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day”.
According to the family, the week of the shooting was the first in which he did not have a parent in class with him.
“On behalf of the child’s family, we continue to pray for Ms Zwerner and wish her a complete and full recovery,” said the family’s lawyer, James Ellenson.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected.”