The grandfather of the 6-year-old who shot his teacher said that the overabundant news coverage of the incident was racially motivated and claimed that it would be far less had the teacher been black.
He made the comments in the first televised interview with the boy's mother since the Jan. 6 incident.
"Absolutely," Calvin Taylor replied to ABC News when asked if he thought there was a racial component to the coverage.
"I think that if the dynamics were different, if the teacher was maybe looking like me, and the student was Caucasian or another nationality, it wouldn't be as pumped up as much," he explained.
Deja Taylor said in the interview that she took responsibility for her boy's actions.
“That is my son, so I am as a parent, obviously, willing to take responsibility for him, because he can’t take responsibility for himself,” Taylor said.
The 25-year-old teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, was later identified as Abby Zwerner. She was shot in the hand and chest in the Jan. 6 incident that shocked the nation.
The family had previously admitted that the boy had used a gun legally registered to his mother but claimed that it had been appropriately secured.
Their attorney said that they were not ready to discuss how the boy was able to gain access to the gun.
“We’re not ready to discuss that at this point,” said James Ellenson. “I don’t know that any adult knows exactly how he got the gun.”
Taylor offered more details about the boy's acute disability, saying that others with ADHD "are able to have it at a very mild rate, but he’s off the wall, doesn’t sit still – ever.”
A previous statement from the family said that the boy had a care plan that involved their presence at the school.
"Our son suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day. The week of the shooting was the first week when we were not in class with him," the statement read.
Taylor said that they had shifted away from that care plan after the boy was shifted to another doctor who changed his medication and the boy had started meeting his academic goals.
She also said that the boy liked his teacher but that he would come home and tell her that he felt ignored.
Prosecutors said in March they would not charge the boy over the incident, but Taylor was charged with felony child neglect and recklessly leaving a firearm to endanger a child. She faces 6 years in prison if convicted.
Zwerner has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the school in which she claims that school officials ignored threats and other signs from the boy on the day on the shooting.
Taylor says the boy doesn't talk about the shooting incident. He is in the custody of his grandfather.
Here's the video of the interview with ABC News:
Mother of 6-year-old who shot teacher: 'I am willing to take responsibility' | ABCNLwww.youtube.com
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