In Michigan school shooting, first lawsuits are filed

The parents of two sisters who survived the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit on Thursday filed two $ 100 milli...


The parents of two sisters who survived the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit on Thursday filed two $ 100 million lawsuits in federal court against the school district and its officials, including the superintendent, the principal, the dean of the pupils, two guidance counselors and two teachers.

The plaintiffs are Jeffrey and Brandi Franz, parents of Riley, a 17-year-old, and Bella, a 14-year-old freshman. Riley was shot in the neck in front of his sister.

The lawsuit claims constitutional violations under the 14th Amendment and violations under Michigan state law because young people “clearly have a right to be free from harm.” And, according to the lawsuit, school staff members acted with “reckless disregard” for the safety of the victims.

The shooting killed four students and seriously injured several others. Ethan Crumbley, 15, was accused of murder and terrorism. Her parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were accused of manslaughterbecause, said the prosecutor, they should have known that their son was a danger to his school. They all pleaded not guilty.

The actions of the school district, Oxford Community Schools, were also under a microscope. At a press conference last week, Oakland County District Attorney Karen D. McDonald described a chilling sequence of events that led to the shooting.

The day before the shooting, a teacher found Mr Crumbley searching his phone for ammunition. The school knew, Ms. McDonald said, that he had recently visited a shooting range with his mother. And on the morning of the shooting, a teacher discovered an alarming drawing of Mr. Crumbley that included a gun, a person who had been shot, and the words, “Thoughts won’t stop.” Help me.”

Mr Crumbley’s parents were called to an immediate school reunion with their son. They were told to put him in for consultation within 48 hours or risk being referred to child welfare. They refused to take him home when asked to do so, according to the prosecutor.

The school district has noted that school officials chose to send Mr Crumbley back to class after this meeting, after observing him behaving normally at the guidance desk. Mr Crumbley’s personal belongings were not searched for a weapon, and later that day he started shooting after coming out of a bathroom, authorities said.

The lawsuit filed Thursday by parents’ attorney Geoffrey Fieger contains several accusations about Mr. Crumbley’s behavior prior to the attack. He indicates that the day before the shooting, Mr. Crumbley posted on Twitter: “Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds. See you tomorrow Oxford.

The complaint says that on social media, “Ethan Crumbley posted countdowns and threats of bodily harm” and that parents complained to administrators about such social media posts in the weeks leading up to the shooting, but that superintendent Tim Throne and manager Steven Wolf said the threats were not credible.

The lawsuit also says school officials did not involve the campus security officer in the meeting with Mr. Crumbley and his parents on the day of the shooting. He said the principal and the dean of the students were in a meeting with Mr. Crumbley. Mr. Fieger did not immediately respond to a question about the source of this information.

Years of civil litigation often follow school shootings. But administrators, teachers and counselors rarely have to fear criminal prosecution. according to lawyers – even when there was some kind of prior warning of potential violence.

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Newsrust - US Top News: In Michigan school shooting, first lawsuits are filed
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