What Happened to the 6-Year-Old Shooter's Disciplinary File?

Yesterday I wrote about the grand jury report which was released in connection with the 2023 shooting of Abby Zwerner, a first grade teacher in Newport News, VA who was shot by one of her 6-year-old students.

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There's another aspect of this story that I didn't delve into yesterday but I looked into it further today. After the shooting, police searched the school for a disciplinary file belonging to the 6-year-old shooter. There should have been two copies of this file in the school but both had disappeared.

There were believed to be two physical files in the school for the child: one located in the main office and one located in Ms. Zwerner's classroom. When law enforcement executed the search warrant to obtain those files they were not foundEvery other student file was in both locations. The child's file was the only file that was in neither location.

Law enforcement asked the administration about the files. Mr. Rashard Wright, formerly the Chief of Staff of NNPSS, called Dr. LaQuiche Parrott, the Director of Elementary School Leadership in Newport News. Dr. Parrott returned one file, where it was in her home, or, she claims, her car. This was the only file, the main office file, that was returned to law enforcement. The second file was not obtained or located.

The returned file was missing all the child's disciplinary records including the incident referral form provided by Ms. White about the choking incident. There was never any record recovered on the schools end about Ms. White being choked by the child. The choking incident was only confirmed through interviewing Ms. White and her providing her own copy of the referral form that she had kept for her personal records.

If Ms. White had not kept her own copy of the incident referral form or been interviewed by law enforcement the choking incident from 2021 would never have been discovered.

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I wrote about Ms. White yesterday. She was the kindergarten teacher for this same child the previous year. At one point he got angry with her, came up behind her while she was at her desk, put both forearms around her neck and pulled back with his full body weight to the point where she could not breathe. A teacher's aide had to rush over to pull him off of Ms. White. When the boy was brought back to her classroom a couple hours later, she left and filed an incident referral form which should have become part of the child's disciplinary record. But as mentioned above, that form was missing from the returned file and even the digital system maintained by the school had no record of it.

The grand jury clearly thought Dr. Parrott's faulty memory on how the file wound up in her car was suspicious. They included a full page of her interview in the report:

When Dr. Parrott testified she had complete clarity as to her actions on the extremely chaotic and stressful day of January 6, 2023. She testified as to how she found out, who she was with, who she interacted with, where she went and what she was doing.

However, when Dr. Parrott was asked about the the child's file that was in her home/car she had total amnesia as to how she got the file, why she got the file, when she got the file, for what purpose she had the file, and who gave her the file. Her answer to eveW question regarding the file was "I can't recall."

This is a snippet of Dr. Parrott's testimony regarding the file:

Question: How did you get [the file]?

Answer by Dr. Parrot: I can't recall how I received his file. I do recall looking for it. I do recall that.

Question: Were you looking for it at Richneck?

Answer: It was being searched for at Richneck by office staff. How I received his file—because I do remember being asked to bring it back to the school for law enforcement.

I don't recall how I had physical—either it was in my offlce...so then how it got to my office?

Question: But you at some point apparently opted to remove it and bring it to your house?

Answer: I mean, I don't recall taking it from the school, but I do recall having it, and I did not take it from the school. But I do recall having it. How I got it from my office and why it was in my vehicle and then later returned to the officer, I don't recall how that all —how I became in possession of it. I don't recall that.

Question: Do you have any idea how Mr. Wright knew that you had the file?

Answer: I don't.

Question: Would it have been Mr. Wright who gave you the file?

Answer: I hate that I can't recall. I can't remember who gave me the file. I don't know.

Question: Do you know a reason why you would have it?

Answer: Someone would have given it to me?

Question: For what purpose?

Answer: To either give it to someone or—I just can't recall.


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The grand jury believed this memory lapse smells like a cover up.

This also leads to several other questions such as how did Mr. Wright know Dr. Parrott had the file? Why did she have the file and why is it missing crucial documents that could potentially implicate certain administrators for their decisions regarding the child? Where is the second file that has never been located? The root of this is what is Dr. Parrott hiding and who is she trying to protect?

In short, the SGJ finds Dr. Parrott's testimony highly suspicious and potentially obstruction of justice. It is at its best a complete lack of competence as to how things were run and recorded and at its worst a cover up for the child's past disciplinary record by the school administration. A continuing investigation into how Dr. Parrott obtained the file and why she had it would be appropriate to determine if she should be criminally charged with obstruction of justice.

Supposedly there is an ongoing investigation into this but the statute of limitation, which is one year, may have already expired making it difficult or impossible to charge other administrators with a cover up.

It certainly seems like those files were disappeared on purpose once administrators who had passed this violent kids along into Abby Zwerner's classroom realized that decision might be getting some serious scrutiny. It reminds me of the similar fiasco in Loudoun County where an investigation concluded that there was a suspicious unanimity of testimony from the school board even though that testimony was provably false. That was an attempted cover up and what happened in Newport News is the same thing.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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