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'Hero' grant money will go to teacher instead of administrators at Virginia elementary school

Chapin: 'There's no better person to oversee it than the one who inspired it in the first place'
Abby Zwerner Abigail Zwerner
Posted at 6:10 PM, Feb 12, 2023

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Richneck Elementary School will no longer control how a "hero" grant from the Uvalde Foundation For Kids is spent in the wake of the shooting at the school in January.

Police said a 6-year-old student intentionally shot and injured his teacher, 25-year-old Abby Zwerner, inside her classroom.

The Uvalde Foundation For Kids, a nonprofit helping schools impacted by gun violence through funding and other resources, said that Zwerner will oversee how the several thousand in funds are used instead of school administrators.

FULL INTERVIEW: Uvalde Foundation For Kids founder explains Richneck Elementary decision

FULL INTERVIEW: Uvalde Foundation For Kids founder explains Richneck Elementary decision

The change comes after Zwerner's lawyers claimed school administrators were warned the child could become violent with a weapon multiple times the day of the shooting.

"Ms. Zwerner, at least four different times – we can't ignore this fact – asked for help, along with other administrators and teachers,” Daniel Chapin, the founder and national director of the Uvalde Foundation For Kids, said. “And if we can't trust the school to care in that light, can we trust them with hundreds of thousands of dollars on Abby's behalf? We don't feel comfortable with that."

The foundation said this is an annual grant in Zwerner's name that will be awarded to teachers across the country. It was awarded to honor the measures Zwerner took to keep her students safe the day she was shot.

"We believe that there's no better person to oversee it than the one who inspired it in the first place," Chapin said.

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