In addition to the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald may also charge school officials for allowing Crumbley to remain in school despite multiple red flags. (RELATED: Multiple Casualties Reported in Michigan School Shooting)
On CNN, McDonald said that Oxford High School officials had just cause to search Crumbley’s backpack and locker but didn’t.
More details about the shooting emerged over the weekend. At the same time, Oxford Community Schools superintendent Tim Thorne told the school’s version of events in a letter.
The School’s Version of Events
As Fox News reports:
The letter explained that on the day of the shooting, school leaders met with Crumbley and his parents following a teacher seeing violent drawings made by Crumbley. Crumbley, however, convinced the school that the drawings were for a “video game” and he was ultimately sent back to class.
“On the morning of Nov. 30, a teacher observed concerning drawings and written statements that have been detailed in media reports, which the teacher reported to school counselors and the Dean of students. The student was immediately removed from the classroom and brought to the guidance counselor’s office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was designing and informed counselors that he planned to pursue video game design as a career,” the letter states.
“At no time did counselors believe the student might harm others based on his behavior, responses and demeanor, which appeared calm. In addition, despite media reports, whether or not the gun was in his backpack has not been confirmed by law enforcement to our knowledge nor by our investigation at this time,” the letter continued.
The letter added that Crumbley’s parents were told to take their son home that day, but “they flatly refused and left without their son, apparently to return to work.” The school also reportedly told the parents they had 48 hours to find counseling for their son or “the school would contact Child Protective Services.”
Two days before the shooting, Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer, bought their son the pistol that he allegedly used to kill four people and injure several others, including one teacher.
It has also been reported by the Detroit Free Press that one of the Crumbley’s neighbors said she warned authorities about the parents’ alleged neglect of their son years earlier.
Kayla LeMieux said she called Child Protective Services on James and Jennifer when Ethan was eight or nine. CPS told the paper that it couldn’t confirm LeMieux’s claims as it keeps all reported abuse allegations confidential.
Parents’ Lawyer Gives First Hint at Couples’ Defense
According to McDonald, there was overwhelming evidence that Ethan’s parents should have known that he was a danger to others. However, during the couples’ arraignment, one of their lawyers said that “There is far more going on than what this court has been made aware of.”
James and Jennifer face four counts of involuntary manslaughter, each of which are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Their son faces one count of terrorism causing death and four counts of first-degree murder, among many other charges.
So what do you think? Should school officials be charged for alleged negligence leading up to the shooting? And what do you think about the parents’ charges? As always, tell us in the comments below!