Virginia principal denies being warned student had gun

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The case of a six-year-old student shooting his teacher in Virginia has grasped the attention of the American public. In truth, only mass shootings and celebrity gossip seems to grab as much focus as this case has.


And it’s not difficult to see why.

For the media, it’s an opportunity to talk about the evils of gun ownership and to paint gun owners as irresponsible. They’re going to talk about it.

Anti-gunners get to do the same.

Yet we’re getting some conflicting information as to what happened. We reported previously that the school was made aware that the student had a gun, but searched and found nothing.

Now, the principal at that school claims there was no notification.

The former principal of Richneck Elementary School, where a 6-year-old intentionally shot a teacher last month in Newport News, Virginia, was not informed that the student had a gun at school, according to her lawyer, despite allegations that administrators were warned the day of the shooting.

Briana Foster Newton, the principal, was removed from her position and will be reassigned within the district, according to her lawyer, Pamela Branch.

“It continues to be reported that unidentified school administrators were aware that the 6-year-old student had a gun at school on Jan. 6, and simply failed to act. Mrs. Newton has been assumed to have been one of those administrators. However, this is far from the truth,” Branch said at a press conference Thursday.

Branch said Newton was not told that the student potentially or definitively had a gun at school on the day of the incident.

“Those who were aware that the student may have had a gun on the premises that day did not report this to Mrs. Newton at all,” Branch added.


Now, my first inclination is to be skeptical of any denial of wrongdoing after something like this happens. After all, Newton’s butt is on the line here. Why would she admit that they dropped the ball.

I’m not so sure skepticism is warranted here, though.

After all, how do you not find a gun in a student’s backpack? A signed paper or report card? Oh, I can see that easily enough. My backpack was notorious for eating stuff like that so it disappeared into a void back when I was a kid.

But a gun isn’t a piece of paper lost among a sea of papers. It’s a gun. It’s kind of hard to miss.

In fact, in that earlier report, I was baffled as to how such a thing could be missed. The idea that no one was actually notified is actually far more plausible than a search failing to find anything.

This case in Virginia is strange, to say the least, but the truth of the matter is that we need the facts. The idea that the principal had no notice that the student had a gun may well be false, but it’s far more plausible than what we’d previously been told.

We need the truth so we can prevent something like this from happening again. If the principal is right about what happened in that Virginia school, then we’ll need to look elsewhere for solutions.

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