June 17 – Oxford – A group of Oxford community school parents known as #change4oxford announced on Friday a federal lawsuit on behalf of 20 students that seeks to force the Oxford Community School District to make changes to the aftermath of the November 30 shooting at Oxford High School.
Four students were killed and seven others were injured, including a teacher.
Unlike other lawsuits already filed by parents against the school district seeking significant damages, the lawsuit to be filed Friday by 20 Oxford students does not seek monetary damages but seeks to “correct violations by the district of students’ rights to safe and effective learning”. environment,” according to a press release. To this end, school administrators are encouraged to maintain school safety and protect students from deadly violence.
Ethan Crumbley, 16, has been charged with the shooting. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are charged with manslaughter after prosecutors alleged they bought him a handgun and gave him access to the weapon. School officials say the Crumbleys failed to tell officials of his existence when they met with parents at school the morning of the shooting and refused to remove him from school for tips, as suggested.
All three Crumbleys are in Oakland County Jail awaiting trial. Ethan faces life in prison for alleged offenses and his parents could face up to 15 years behind bars if convicted of manslaughter.
Scott Weidenfeller, one of the attorneys representing the students, said the court has the power to order the school district to adopt safe practices, including staff training, and eliminate other procedures that can put students at risk. students at risk, such as not immediately removing students who are deemed a danger to themselves or others without a disciplinary hearing.
The students allege the district continues to violate their right to a safe educational environment and “worse still, the students claim that district officials engaged in a concerted cover story to deflect blame for the Oxford High School shooting. “, according to their press release.
Among the students’ claims are that they have been denied their right to a public education and will continue to be so until the district undergoes a third-party review of the events leading up to the shooting and implement new policies. The lawsuit alleges that officials, including school administrators and trustees, acted with indifference to concerns expressed by students and parents, and the danger Ethan Crumbley posed to other students by allowing him to stay at school. ‘school.
The policy changes sought include a retraction of all statements made during the district’s after-school coverage history and implementation and a fully transparent, independent third-party review of the events leading up to the shooting. The students also want the court to order the school district to end “its practice of covering up and minimizing threats of violence” and a “practice of sending students back to class when there is no problem.” disciplinary action, even when the student is suicidal and/or poses a risk to self or others Students also want proper training for administrators and staff regarding lawful searches of student belongings when a student presents a security risk.
Ethan Crumbley was kicked out of class after his parents refused to pull him out of school and counsel him. It is believed that he was returned his backpack containing the handgun used in the shooting.
Oxford school superintendent Ken Weaver was not immediately available for comment on Friday. The district recently hired a private firm to do a third-party review of the events leading up to the school shooting and practice
Several parents of students appeared at a virtual press conference on Friday and expressed their concerns.
“Not once, but three times, has the school board rejected the [attorney general’s] AG’s offer (to do an independent review),” April Valentine said. “Which now makes me wonder why they are working so hard to avoid help from the Attorney General.
“Now, due to pressure and outcry from families and students, the school board will conduct a third-party review, but overseen by their newly hired lawyer with no guarantees they will either publish all findings or be transparent.”
Andrea Jones said she wanted to know “what safety and policy updates have been made to ensure the safe return of our children to their care. Trust had been broken and it was their duty to the We continue to wait for answers and to put in place the policies we desperately need so that another tragic event does not strike our community. We need answers so that we can fix what went wrong.
She said students cannot be expected to learn when they constantly fear for their safety.
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