Oxford students sue over exam changes after high school shooting


WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (UKTN) — About 20 students at Oxford High School, where four students were killed in a mass shooting, say their constitutional rights to safety and education have been violated and they want changes to ensure the school safety, a law firm representing them said Friday.

The federal lawsuit filed Friday names the Oxford Community School District, its former superintendent and other officials. He calls for an independent review and policy changes, including increased transparency and communication from the district.

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The UK Time News sent an email seeking comment from the district.

Ethan Crumbley, 16, has been charged with murder and terrorism in the Nov. 30 shooting, also injuring six other students and a teacher. He is likely to be tried in November.

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His parents are accused of giving him access to the gun he used and are awaiting trial for manslaughter.

The students’ lawsuit demands that the school district implement a “fully transparent and independent, third-party investigation into the actions and events leading up to the shooting” and what it calls an end to the “practice of covering up and minimizing threats of violence”.

The lawsuit does not seek damages. Other lawsuits following the shooting have sought millions of dollars, claiming the violence could have been avoided.

The latest lawsuit also asks the district to stop sending students back to class when they pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.

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On the morning of the shooting, Ethan Crumbley’s parents were summoned to school and confronted with his drawings of a handgun and the words, “Thoughts won’t stop. Help me.” Authorities said the parents refused to take him home after the 13-minute meeting.

Rumors of threats and threatening behavior in the weeks leading up to the shooting were ignored and downplayed by school officials, said Alicia Feltz, whose daughter will be a freshman in high school this fall. “They desensitized and diminished the threats that surrounded our children in the hallways.”

“None of us want to be here right now,” Feltz added. “We kindly and firmly asked for change and now we demand it.”

Parents supporting their children in the lawsuit are known as #change4oxford. Several told reporters that the Oxford school board had repeatedly refused a review by the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

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The district announced last month that it was hiring a law firm and an independent investigation firm to conduct its own review.

“My fear now is that they will use solicitor-client privilege to withhold relevant information for the exam,” said April Ventline, whose son attends Oxford High. “I have no confidence or confidence that we will get a clear and honest review.”

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