Third party probes actions of Oxford High School before shooting



A third party will investigate events at Oxford High that preceded a school shooting that left four students dead and six other students and a teacher injured, the Michigan school district superintendent said. on Saturday.

Tim Throne, Superintendent of Oxford Community Schools, said in a statement that he called for an outside investigation because parents had questioned the “school’s version of events leading up to the shooting”. He also elaborated on the interactions with students that led to the shooting.

“It is extremely important to victims, our employees, and our entire community that full and transparent accounting is in place,” Throne said.

His comments came after a Friday news conference by Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald which detailed multiple warning signs from students charged in the shootings: Searching for gun ammo on electricity cell phone and a drawing showing a bullet with the words “blood everywhere” above a person who appeared to have been shot along with “my life is in vain” and “the world is dead.”

On Tuesday, at the school, about 30 miles (50 km) north of Detroit, students were returned to their classrooms after a school conference with parents. Three hours after the shooting happened.

“The school should have been responsible for forwarding it to the sheriff’s office. It looks like this could have been prevented,” said Robert Jordan, founder and director of St. Louis, said Friday. “People have died because of those mistakes.”

In addition to Jordan, parents of students killed in a 2018 school shooting in Florida say police should have been alerted to Tuesday’s riot.

Oxford High shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, 15, is now charged as an adult with murder, terrorism and other counts.

On Friday, prosecutors charged his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. They pleaded not guilty Saturday and a judge imposed a $1 million compound bond.

Authorities say the 9mm semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting was purchased by James Crumbley at a local gun store on Black Friday as an early Christmas present for his son.

School officials became concerned about Crumbley on Monday, the day before the shooting, when a teacher saw him searching for ammo on his phone, McDonald told reporters. pellets.

On Tuesday, a teacher found a notepad on Ethan’s desk and took a photo. It was a drawing of a gun pointed at the words, “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me out,” said McDonald.

There was also a drawing of a bullet, she said, with the words above it: “Blood everywhere.” Between the gun and the bullet was a person who appeared to have been shot twice and was bleeding, she said. “My life is useless” and “The world is dead” are also written.

Ethan Crumbley and both his parents met with school officials at 10 a.m. Tuesday. His parents leave, and Ethan returns to his classroom with his backpack, where investigators believe he stored the gun. Authorities were not notified, which County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said he wished was fulfilled.

By 1 p.m. Tuesday, the school erupted in gunfire, chaos, and bloodshed.

“Schools have a responsibility to assess the immediate threat to students and include that conversation with the police,” said Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was one of the 17 students killed. sworn police and law enforcement agencies. in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.

About five weeks before the Stoneman Douglas shooting, an FBI tip line received a call saying former student Nikolas Cruz had purchased a gun and was planning to “enter a school and start shooting at that place.” “.

That information was never passed on to the FBI. Cruz, who had been expelled from school a year earlier and had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems, was never contacted.

Now 23, Cruz pleaded guilty in October to 17 counts of first-degree murder.

“We have to take these threats seriously,” Alhadeff said.

Christopher Smith, a professor of Law and Public Policy at Michigan State University and president of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, says looking at such an issue after fact raises questions. is different.

You have to consider whether “teachers and school officials are particular in their training that you need to report all of this,” says Smith.

In a video message to the community on Thursday night, Throne acknowledged the meeting of Crumbley, parents and school officials. Throne did not provide details but said that “no discipline is guaranteed.”

In his statement Saturday, Throne elaborated on Tuesday morning’s events, saying the student was taken to the guidance counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game. that he is designing and he plans to pursue video game design as a career. . He does his homework while waiting for his parents as the counselors watch him.

“At no time do counselors believe a student can harm others based on his or her behavior, reactions, and mannerisms, which appear calm,” says Throne.

“While both his father and mother were present, the counselors asked specific probing questions about the potential for self-harm or harm to others,” Throne said, adding advice for he and his parents were told they had 48 hours to look for it. . “When parents are asked to bring their son home for the day, they flatly refuse and leave without their son, apparently to get back to work.”

He said the student had not committed any previous disciplinary violations so he was allowed to return to the classroom instead of being “sent home empty”. Third party probes actions of Oxford High School before shooting

Aila Slisco

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