Newport News, VA

Six year-old Newport News student shines the light on aggressive behavior from students in Virginia schools

Cheryl E Preston
Newport News parents complain about the shootingPhoto byCNN video screnshot

Aggressive behavior in Virginia students has been escalating

The story of the 6 year-old-boy who shot his teacher in a Newport News elementary school is troubling and new details that have come forth shine a light on the increase in violent behavior in Virginia Schools. This young boy was said to have written a note to a different teacher saying he wanted to set her on fire and watch her die and that he threw chairs in the classroom. This behavior is becoming normal in the Commonwealth and educators are being verbally, and physically attacked and do not have much recourse.

CNN reports that this was the third school in Newport News within the last two years to have an incident and one situation resulted in a fatality. The Newport News school district has been accused of underreporting incidents and of not disciplining violent students in order to maintain the status quo and the same thing is being said of Roanoke schools off the record.

The violence begins in preschool

A student at William Fleming High School assaulted a teacher in 2018 and I was told of a local principal who retired early saying she was not cut out for the type of students that are in the public schools today. Across the Star City and throughout Virginia teachers and administrators are at their wit's end dealing with an increasing number of children who do not respond to being told to settle down. I have had local preschool teachers tell me for at least a decade that 3 and 4-year-old children fight them, kick, bite and spit on them, and curse which are serious red flags.

Older students throw chairs, turn over desks, and threaten to have their parents "deal with" school officials on a regular basis. The nation is said to be shocked about the six-year-old who shot the teacher but guns in schools are not new as less than a year ago a student shot a gun in Lucy Addison Middle School.

Every violent incident in a Virginia school does not make the news

Newport News mayor Phillip Jones said of the incident with the 6-year-old: “This is a red flag for the country,” “I do think that after this event, there is going to be a nationwide discussion on how these sorts of things can be prevented.”

Educators should not have to fear for their lives and children should not have to be arrested for assault
and battery against adults as happened in Roanoke in 2018. In Leesburg Virginia, a student was charged with sexually assaulting two classmates at different area schools. These few incidents shared here are only the tip of the iceberg because every assault or violent student does not get reported in the news.

More than meets the eye

When my 3 children attended Patrick Henry High school over a 10-year period of time they and their friends would discuss incidents of students bringing weapons to class and or fighting teachers. I noticed that most of this was never on the news but everything that happened at William Fleming was made public.

The rumor mill (Students, parents, and educators off the record) suggested that local school officials wanted to maintain the image of Fleming being the troubled school and promote PH as not having issues because of the neighborhood it was in. There is more going on with troubled students in Virginia schools than is being revealed to the public and it needs to be addressed before someone loses their life.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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