The recent shooting at Richneck Elementary School sparked a flurry of discussion about the concerns within Newport News’ public schools division.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – In the weeks following the filming at Richneck Elementary SchoolNewport News Public School teachers and other employees have come to the school board and administrators with concerns they say they have had for years.
At the special school board meeting a few days after the shooting, teachers said they had raised concerns about the lack of security in some elementary schools…a concern that one teacher said was not addressed. fully taken into account by the administrators. They said the recent shooting in Richneck prompted them to speak out.
“I’ve heard teachers say the administration doesn’t listen to them…the administration doesn’t take them seriously,” said James Graves, president of the Newport News Education Association.
Graves said he and his team of association executives wanted to find a way to allow school employees to report any concerns without fear of retaliation. So, they posted on social media, asking anyone with concerns to email the Education Association.
“If an employee feels something is going on or something is unfair, if they are a member, they can email me and I will raise the issue with the appropriate administration and school board to get a resolution,” Graves said.
This whistleblower line follows teachers claiming they tipped off to administrators that a 6-year-old student had a gun at Richneck Elementary School hours before police said he shot him his first grade teacher, Abby Zwerner. Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said administrators also failed to notify his department of the suspected gun before the shooting.
Graves said the Richneck shooting wasn’t the only reason he wanted to create the rush line. He said that when employees raised their concerns with the school board, he realized that this platform was needed long before the elementary school incident.
He said he constantly takes these reported issues and raises them with school board members and school administrators.
“What we’re trying to do is get all the information gathered and come up with a resolution and their concerns. We may have complaints, we may have concerns, but we also need solutions to everything. problem,” Graves said. “You have the right to speak and you have the right to say what you have to say.”
Graves said the whistleblower line right now is mostly through his email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
He said he hopes to create an 800 number, so employees can raise concerns.