Following a deadly November 30 school shooting in which four students were killed and teachers injured at Oxford High School, a $100 million lawsuit has been filed against the school authorities. Parents of one of the wounded students alleged in the lawsuit that the school management was negligent in safeguarding the lives of the students even after learning of the threats before the shooting, CNN reports.
Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged with first-degree murder after killing four students and wounding seven other people. Crumbley’s parents, James, and Jennifer Crumbley were also charged with involuntary manslaughter since they gave the murder weapon, a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun to the teen as an early Christmas gift. The parents pleaded not guilty and are being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The lawsuit was filed by Riley Franz, 17, who was shot in the neck, and her sister Bella, 14, who witnessed the shooting. Parents Jeffrey and Brandi Franz are filing the lawsuit on behalf of the two girls, and they joined themselves as plaintiffs. They are represented by Michigan personal injury attorney Geoffrey Fieger who stated that the shooting was preventable if the school authorities had acted fast enough.
Those named in the lawsuit are the Oxford Community School district, Superintendent Timothy Throne, Oxford High Principal Steven Wolf, and Dean of Students Ryan Moore, two school counselors, two teachers, and a staff member. The lawsuit was filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
“The horror of November 30, 2021, was entirely preventable,” said Attorney Geoffrey Fieger. “Each and every defendant named herein created and increased the dangers then-existing at Oxford High School. The individually named Defendants are each responsible through their actions for making the student victims less safe.”
In a 44-page lawsuit, Fieger alleged that district school superintendent Throne and school principal Wolf among others were aware of threats posted on social media by Crumbley weeks before he carried out the shooting. He said the management also knew that the shooter searched for appropriate ammunition for his weapon online but didn’t alert the police or the school liaison officer. The lawyer added that the school officials even sidelined the liaison officer in a meeting with Crumbley’s parents.
According to Fieger, the school principal assured parents that the school was safe and that students did not face any imminent danger, despite learning of Crumbley’s erratic warnings on social media. He said the school also failed to seize Crumbley’s backpack which contained the handgun on the day the murderer carried out the attack.
“Previous to the November 30, 2021 incident, Ethan Crumbley posted threats of bodily harm, including death, on his social media accounts, warning of violent tendencies and murderous ideology,” the suit states. “Throne, Wolf, and other employees and/or agents of Oxford Community School District had knowledge of threats made to the students, Riley and Bella Franz.”