School Shooting – Does the Oxford High Administration Bear Some Responsibility?
The tragic events that unfolded during the afternoon of November 30th at Oxford High School in north Oakland County has left many unanswered questions for parents throughout the county and the state. Of particular interest is who actually bears responsibility for this occurrence, especially when there were plenty of warning signs prior to Ethan Crumbley bringing a firearm into the school and murdering four of his fellow students. While much of the blame has been rightfully placed upon the parents, there is also some responsibility to be placed on the staff of Oxford High in failing to act appropriately to the clear danger posed to the school and community.
This question has not only been brought up by local community members, but also by national news agencies covering the situation. Because of his expertise in legal matters involving juveniles and school issues, Attorney Mike Kelly of Kelly & Kelly, PLLC was asked for his input regarding the situation by The New York Times. When asked about the responsibility of the school in these events, Mr. Kelly confirmed the likelihood that they will be facing years of litigation over the shooting.
As an attorney specializing in representing students who are facing school disciplinary issues, Mike Kelly clearly indicated that there will almost certainly be a lawsuit filed against the school district in the near future. During an interview with the local Fox 2 channel, Mike stated that the school district has some level culpability and responsibility for the events that occurred, namely due to their inadequate response and mishandling of the matter. He mentions that not only will the school district likely be facing litigation, but also that there is the possibility that certain school administrators may even be facing criminal charges for their failure to properly act.
In a separate interview, Mr. Kelly mentioned that the warning signs were obvious enough that the school should have taken more decisive action, which likely would have prevented the incident from occurring. However, he also mentioned that the fact that the student did not have any prior disciplinary records might cause the situation to be considered a legal grey area. Other individuals involved in the incident also echoed these accusations, specifically Renee Guzanek, who’s child sheltered in place during the shooting, as well as the Oakland County Prosecutor handling the case, Hon. Karen D. McDonald.