The representative of the teacher who was shot by the student says the incident could have been avoided if the authorities had responded quickly.
The lawyer representing the teacher who was shot by a 6-year-old child in the United States said that school officials were warned three times that the child had a gun but failed to take action.
The lawsuit Wednesday comes just three weeks after the January 6 incident that left Virginia coach Abigail Zwerner seriously injured.
At a news conference Wednesday, attorney Diane Toscano said Zwerner, who was hospitalized for two weeks after being hit in the arm and chest by a single bullet, planned to file a lawsuit against the Newport News state.
“That day, over the course of several hours, three different times – three times – school administrators were alerted by concerned teachers and staff that the boy had a gun on campus and was threatening people,” Toscano said. “But the management didn’t bother.”
The incident has raised questions about school safety and the boy’s access to guns, and it comes amid years of mass shootings at US schools.
Toscano said that, around 12:30pm (17:30 GMT), a teacher at Newport News’s Richneck Elementary School told administrators that he forced himself to search the boy’s book bag. The teacher warned that he thought he had a gun in his pocket.
After 1 p.m. (18:00 GMT), a boy tearfully told his teacher that the student showed him the gun and threatened to shoot him, according to Toscano. The teacher reportedly reported the incident to administrators.
An employee later asked for permission to search the boy after hearing about the gun but “was told to wait because the school day was almost over”, Toscano said.
Zwerner himself told school officials at around 11:15am (16:15 GMT) that day that the boy had threatened to hit another child, the lawyer said.
The police chief in Newport News, a city of about 185,000 people, had previously called the shooting, which took place in front of the classroom, “intentional”.
Meanwhile, County Sheriff George Parker III previously said that on the day of the shooting one of the boys was told that the boy had a weapon, but no weapon was found when his backpack was searched.
Police said school officials did not tell them about the tips before the incident, which happened several hours later. They also said that the boy’s mother legally bought the gun that was used in the shooting.
In a statement last week, the boy’s family expressed concern and said the gun had been “safeguarded”. He did not say how the child got the gun.
The family’s lawyer, James Ellenson, told The Associated Press that what he knew was that the gun was in the woman’s room, on a shelf more than 1.8 meters (6 feet) high, and it had a lock that required a key. .
The family also said that the boy has a “significant disability” and was under a care system “which includes his mother or father taking him to school and taking him to class every day”.
The week of the shooting was the first time a parent was not in the classroom, the family said.