The parents of an eighth-grade girl who was shot and killed by her teacher at an elementary school in New Jersey have called for an independent investigation.
Linc Elementary School in Concord was on lockdown Thursday when the girl was shot by a teacher who called 911.
Her mother, Michelle Rocha, said her daughter was shot after a fight broke out between two boys at the school, where she was the sixth-grader.
Rocha said she didn’t know who shot her daughter until the police arrived and told her that it was her daughter’s teacher who shot the student.
The girl was in stable condition Thursday afternoon at St. Barnabas Hospital, and the school district released a statement on its Facebook page saying the student was the victim of an “act of violence.”
“As the district’s parent and the grieving parents, we are very concerned for the safety of our daughter, our community, and our entire community,” the statement read.
“We ask for your prayers and for the continued support of the community.”
Rochas attorney, John Foschi, said the family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the teacher and school district.
Rachael Rochas, Michelle’s sister, said she was stunned and angry at the shooting.
“They have to understand, that I have a 14-year-old and she’s a good student,” Rachael said.
“I just don’t understand what happened.
I’m really upset.”
Rachuel said the district is not being truthful about the incident.
“I just feel that the district has gone to great lengths to cover up this tragedy,” she said.
She said she hopes the school board will act quickly and remove the teacher who was fired and that it takes responsibility for what happened to the student and for what they’ve done to other students.
“The district has failed the victims and the community,” she added.
Roughly 1,000 students attended the school.
The school district posted a message on its website saying that the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
The district said it is cooperating with authorities and is “fully cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Brunswick.”
“We are committed to working with our community to bring closure to the tragic loss of a young life and hope to one day move forward as a school community that is more focused on students, teachers, parents, and community members,” the school said.
The district said the principal will be removed from her position.