Lawsuit filed against Oxford Schools in wake of shooting
A lawsuit contesting that Oxford Community Schools downplayed or ignored the threat Ethan Crumbley posed to the school was filed Thursday. Southfield, Michigan attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced the lawsuits in a press conference.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Oxford students and siblings Riley Franz, 17, and Bella Franz, 14, who were both injured in the shooting.
Fieger stressed the importance of holding everyone responsible, not just the Crumbleys.
“It’s not enough to (hold) these people, and their son responsible,” Fieger emphasized. “There’s a responsibility among teachers, counselors, and school administrators who could have easily prevented this slaughter.”
Several members of the school’s staff were mentioned in the suit including: Superintendent Timothy Throne, Oxford High School Principal Steven Wolf, and Dean of Students Ryan Moore. Unnamed are two school counselors, two teachers, and a staff member.
Details have come out concerning actions taken place by Ethan Crumbley days and even hours before the shooting. The lawsuit contends that administrators and faculty disregarded all these threats, even as pressure from parents began to build up.
Just weeks before the shooting occured, parents reported Crumbley’s social media posts. Superintendent Throne allegedly announced over the loudspeaker to “stop spreading information over social media and to stop relying on information on social media,” while reiterating that there was absolutely no danger to the school.
“Student interpretations of social media posts and false information have exacerbated the overall concern,” said a statement put out by the school on November 12th. “ We want our parents and students to know there has been no threat to our building nor our students.”
Fieger pointed out the heavy contradiction between the school’s statement and their inaction.
“At Oxford High School, they’ll search your backpack if they think you’re vaping, but they refused to search or suspend a student who wrote, as we now know, was reams of homicidal notes and drawings,” Fieger said intensely.
Fieger is regarded as a very high profile attorney. He has also represented the survivors of the Columbine High School shooting. The lawsuit, similar to the one being brought against the parents of Ethan Crumbley, sought to hold the parents of Columbine gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris accountable for their kids' actions.
"Klebold and Harris could not have developed and executed their violence without the negligence of the parents and possibly others,'' Fieger stated during the case. "It is inconceivable that two high school students could amass an arsenal of guns and bombs that would make a small country dangerous without help and the lack of supervision by parental authorities.''
In the case of Columbine, all cases, including many complaints towards the school, were dismissed by the judge due to the shooters acting on their own intent.
"The district is pleased with the ruling, but there is no victory in regard to this tragedy," the school district later put out in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy."
The lawsuit seeks out over $100 million in damages be paid out to the families, but the school is expected to fight back against it. No statements have been made from the school at this time.