A group of Michigan parents have filed a lawsuit against Oxford Community Schools, demanding that the district make critical procedural changes months after a deadly shooting claimed the lives of four students.
According to The Detroit News, the lawsuit—unlike others filed against the district—does not seek monetary damages but instead strives to “correct the district’s violations of the students’ rights to a safe and effective learning environment.”
The complaint asks school administrators and education officials to revise safety policies.
ABC News notes that Oxford declined two separate offers from the Michigan district attorney to conduct an investigation into the shooting.
The suspected shooter, 16-year-old Ethan Crumbley, allegedly raised numerous red flags in the days preceding the shooting. Crumbley purportedly made disturbing social media posts, drawings, and journal entries.
On the day of the shooting, Crumbley and his parents were summoned to Oxford High School to discuss the boy’s troubling behavior.
However, Crumbley’s parents declined to remove their son from school, even after officials revealed that he drawn violent images and been caught browsing ammunition websites in class.
Several hours after the meeting, Crumbley retrieved a handgun from his backpack and opened fire on his classmates.
Crumbley is currently charged with 24 counts after killing four students and injuring another seven.
His parents, who purchased the firearm Crumbley used as a present, also face four charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Now, Oxford families and students assert that the district has violated their constitutional rights to a safe and effective educational environment because of its actions, which they say increased the likelihood of a school shooting.
“There are some harmful policies that are in place, currently, at Oxford, including if there is no disciplinary issue you can’t keep the student or send the student home,” said attorney Scott Weidenfeller, who is representing Oxford students and families in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit requests policy changes including transparency on further threats of violence, enhanced training for administrators and teachers, the right for officials to prevent students from class if they pose a threat to themselves or others.
The complaint also requests that teachers be properly trained to search students’ belongings if there is a substantial risk they might harm others.
According to ABC News, the lawsuit emphasizes the trauma and struggles endured by individual students in the aftermath of the shootoing.
“Unable to engage in classes and tackle the daily social needs and mental hurdles that many encounter in high school, students at Oxford High School have been forced to uncover a level of resilience and a weight of constant fear that should be expected of no one,” the lawsuit states.
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