As the events of November 30th continue to be further analyzed there have been multiple concerns raised regarding the responsibility of the Oxford High School administration in allowing Ethan Crumbley to stay in school despite many warning signs that he was a danger. Juvenile attorney Mike Kelly was asked to weigh in on the matter, due to his years of experience handling cases involving kids who are facing disciplinary actions from schools. He is uniquely qualified among defense attorneys to discuss these matters, due to his specialized focus on juvenile defense.
His well known reputation as a juvenile and school attorney led to him being invited into Michael Smerconish’s SiriusXM program as a subject matter expert during the discussion of responsibility for the Oxford High Shooting. In addition to this, he was also interviewed by Bridge Michigan, where he echoed his sentiment that in this particular situation, the school administrators bear some responsibility for the events that occurred. He mentioned that this was one of the rare instances where threats like these were not taken seriously enough and that school officials were simply too quick to return a student to a classroom environment.
Mr. Kelly was also interviewed by NPR’s Becky Sullivan as part of her piece covering the actions of the school staff prior to the shooting. While formal criminal charges are being filed against the parents themselves, there is also talk of legal action against Oxford High School itself. Mike mentioned that while it is highly unlikely any school staff members will be hauled off to jail, there certainly will be an acknowledgement of mistakes on the part of the administration. Due to Michigan’s sovereign immunity laws, the school district itself is shielded from liability, however individual staff members are not. Again, he states that this is unlikely to happen, especially considering the precedent from previous mass shootings where courts have dismissed lawsuits.