NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A non-profit organization called Uvalde Foundation For Kids said it is working with Newport News school staff and parents as Richneck Elementary prepares to open its doors after being closed since one of its teachers was shot while in the classroom on Jan. 6.
The Uvalde Foundation For Kids was developed after a gunman shot and killed 19 students and two teachers in May 2022 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
According to the group, they want to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to addressing school violence.
Founder of Uvalde Foundation For Kids, Daniel Chapin, said they are conducting their own investigation of sorts, interviewing many Richneck parents and staff.
“The facts really show that this could have been prevented immediately,” said Chapin.
Reacting to the news that Newport News Superintendent Dr. George Parker III was fired, Chapin said, “We don’t take pleasure in any way, shape, or form in the removal of the current superintendent at Newport News Public Schools. We do see it is necessary for the future of the district given the ongoing safety concerns, the ongoing reports from students, family members, and faculty members.”
Chapin said that on Thursday, they met virtually with Newport News school staff as they prepare to reopen Richneck Elementary on Jan. 30.
“They wanted to know: ‘How do we let them know it’s not business as usual?’ How do we deal with it when we have these teachers come on campus when we have these students come back so they feel safe?” Chapin said.
In the meantime, some Richneck families are seeking legal advice.
Attorney Larry Lockwood, Jr. said he has been contacted by some of the parents. He suggests parents who have children who were in the classroom where the shooting happened, contact an attorney.
But he warned that it’s not a simple case.
“Generally, in order to sue for emotional distress associated with someone’s negligent conduct, you have to have a physical injury,” Lockwood said. “There is a very narrow exception which came out in a court case in 1974,” he added.
Lockwood said if the following criteria are proven, then a lawsuit might be successful:
- If the conduct was intentional or reckless,
- the behavior was outrageous and intolerable,
- the distress was linked to the defendant’s actions,
- and the distress suffered was severe
“That’s an exception and you can bring a claim based solely on emotional distress,” said Lockwood. He added, “In this particular case, if everything I’m hearing is correct about the multiple notifications to staff at the school, it might meet that standard, because that’s outrageous conduct.”
RELATED STORIES: Student shoots Newport News teacher at school 4 warning signs given before Richneck Elem. teacher shot by student: Lawyer Newport News School Board votes to fire superintendent after Richneck shooting Administrators notified of weapon on student before NN shooting: Superintendent 'I just wanted to throw up': Parents react to shooting at Richneck Elem. School Boy assaulted 2 staff members on day he shot Richneck Elem. teacher: Police Grandmother recounts rushing to provide aid to shot Richneck Elem. teacher 6-year-old child who shot NN teacher brought 9mm handgun from home: Police Colleagues honor shot Richneck Elem. teacher at prayer vigil No charges likely against 6-year-old who shot Newport News teacher: Expert Heritage High alum speaks about Richneck Elem. shooting Parents call for more security officers in NN schools after Richneck shooting
Comments / 0