An attorney for the school said that Oxford education officials fulfilled all of their legal duties in addressing concerns about suspected shooter Ethan Crumbley’s behavior.
Oxford Community Schools officials have responded to a lawsuit accusing them of failing to prevent a deadly mass shooting, saying they were not “negligent in any manner.”
According to The Detroit News, the defendants named in the lawsuit—including Superintendent Tim Thorne and Oxford High School Principal Steven Wolf—said they “were guided by and strictly observed all legal duties and obligations imposed by operation of law and otherwise.”
“Further,” school attorney Timothy Mullins wrote in court documents, “all actions of their agents, servants and/or employees were careful, prudent, proper and lawful.”
As LegalReader.com has reported before, the lawsuit was filed by Metro Detroit-based attorney Geoffrey Fieger.
Fieger, notes The Detroit News, filed the civil complaint on behalf of Oxford shooting survivors and their families, some of whom saw their friends and relatives injured by suspected killer Ethan Crumbley.
Fieger, says the News, amended the lawsuit late last month, adding 11 counts against school officials after investigators and law enforcement revealed more information about Crumbley’s communications and troubled behavior.
Crumbley had, for instance, posted veiled threats on social media, searched ammunition sales on his mobile phone, and penned gruesome drawings on school tests and homework.
In a statement, Fieger said that Crumbley all but announced his intent to execute a school shooting.
However, Oxford school officials allegedly refused to take concrete action against Crumbley and actively discouraged parents and students from discussing his social media posts.
Crumbley’s family had, in fact, had a meeting with school officials the same day of the shooting. However, they refused to remove their son from class; Crumbley retrieved a handgun from his backpack several hours later, killing four students and injuring another seven.
“The individually named defendants are each responsible through their actions for making the student victims less safe, causing the students to be in direct harm, and acting in a manner that was so reckless as to demonstrate a substantial lack of concern for whether an injury results,” Fieger wrote in the complaint.
The Detroit News reports that, while Mullins has denied the allegations against Oxford Community Schools, he said now is not the time to provide comment.
“There is a criminal investigation and prosecution taking place and the Oakland County prosecutor has asked us not to comment upon the facts of the case so as to avoid any interference,” Mullins said in a statement. “Our priority is to get the kids back to school. There will be plenty of time for comment.”
Fieger and the families are seeking at least $100 million in damages.